Skiing can be a fun winter sport, and like all sports, presents risks of injuries and pain from skiing mishaps. When you are not careful or properly prepared to hit the snow and ice, severe injuries can occur. Serious injuries (paralysis, serious head, and other serious injuries) occur at the rate of about 44.7 per year, according to the NSAA. During the 2011/12 season, there were 510 serious injuries. Thirty-eight of the serious injuries occurred with skiers (30 male, 8 female) and 10 were snowboarders, (9 male, 1 female). Among the serious injuries, 30 of those involved were reported as wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The rate of serious injury in 2011/12 was one per million skier/snowboarder visits. These are the most common ski injuries and how to prevent them:
The most common skiing injury is over exerting the knee joint in some way and causing a sprain. The injury is caused by too much weight, over extending the joint, twisting in an unnatural way, and impact injuries to the knee joint. Wearing a knee brace, and specialized skiing knee wraps and supports, can prevent this common ski injury and can greatly reduce the severity of the injury if one is sustained while on the ski slopes.
Brain injuries can occur after a high-speed collision (usually greater than 30 mph). From concussions to hematomas, skull and brain injuries should always be treated seriously… To avoid serious brain traumas, it is recommended that all skiers wear a helmet while on the slopes. Skiing with a helmet is one the best measures you can take to avoid a head injury and ensure you enjoy your time on the ski hill.
One of the common skiing injuries seen on the snowy slopes is broken and fractured wrists. The most common way this injury is sustained is by falling and catching oneself awkwardly or falling on the wrists and hands. The impact of your body weight and any gear you are carrying landing squarely on the wrist can often cause injury. By wearing wrist braces or supports these injuries are greatly reduced when falls do occur.
The moment those skis get strapped on, your leg bones are subjected to so much additional and unnatural pressure. A bad fall or collision with a rock, tree, or other person are common accidents that often results in broken and fractured legs. Wearing gear that is properly fitted will go a long way to help minimize the risk injury to your legs and will also help make for a better and more comfortable skiing day with less fatigue in your legs.
SHOULDER DISLOCATIONS or impingement
Falls will happen when you ski but it is essential that you learn how to fall safely so you avoid major impact to parts of your body- like the shoulder. When the arm bone loses contact with the socket of the shoulder blade, the shoulder is dislocated. Dislocations of the shoulder will render the arm useless and will cause a lot of pain. Additionally, in severe cases, shoulder impingement injuries can occur.
ANKLE OR FOOT SPRAINS
If the bindings used on your skis do not let go if you fall to the side and put pressure on the ankle, the ankle joint ligaments and the foot may suffer trauma. Regardless of how much support you think you need for your ankle, it is recommended to wear support for your ankle and foot. These can support the joint and the bones of your leg and foot and reduce your chance for injury when you take a tumble on the slopes.
While they are one of the more serious injuries that can happen when you are skiing, thankfully these kinds of injuries are fairly rare compared to others. They occur when a skier falls or collides with a hard object. They usually occur with a collision with something like a tree or rock or during a massive wipe-out tumble down the slope. Any spinal injury is a serious situation and must be tended to immediately.
FATAL ski INJURIES DO OCCUR
According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), During the past 10 years, about 41.5 people have died skiing/snowboarding per year on average. During the 2011/12 season, 54 fatalities occurred out of the 51.0 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. Thirty-nine of the fatalities were skiers (33 male, 6 female) and 12 of the fatalities were snowboarders, (10 male, 2 female). To place skiing and snowboarding safety into context it helps to offer a perspective: The National Safety Council points out that in 2009: 35,900 Americans died in motor-vehicle accidents; 5,300 pedestrians were killed; 8,600 died from unintentional public falls; 4,500 died from unintentional public poisoning; 2,400 people drowned while swimming in public areas; 800 died while bicycle riding. What this shows us is that while injuries do happen on the ski slopes, they can be reduced and are much less common than many other threats we face on a regular basis.
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If you have questions about your ski injury and whether or not there is a claim of negligence involved with why you sustained the injury or concerns about medical malpractice involved with your medical care and treatment, contact us today. We can assist you and will review your case for free so you can have a clear picture of what your best course of action should be. Call now to get started.