Skiers: Stay Safe on the Slopes
Madison, Wisconsin - With snow falling on a regular basis lately, many people are out enjoying ski slopes throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.
While slaloming down mountains at a high rate of speed is great exercise and can be exhilarating, the sport obviously comes with some risks - even for the most skilled skiers.
That was evident earlier this week when American gold medalist and world champion Lindsey Vonn tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and fractured her right tibia in a crash at the Alpine World Championships in Schladming, Austria.
Dr. William Clancy of UW Health Sports Medicine said that approximately 25 percent of skiing injuries involve ACL or MCL tears.
Many times, such injuries occur late in the ski season in March or April, when the snow on hills tends to be wet and heavy. However, severe knee injuries can occur any time you're on the hill.
Clancy, the former medical director for the U.S. Nordic Ski Team, offers recreational skiers these tips for avoiding serious injury:
- Never stop in the middle of a run - many ACL tears are the result of people getting hit by other skiers.
- Always ski in control.
- Set your bindings loose. The most dangerous type of fall is a slow, twisting fall because it can tweak the knee, especially if your skis are still attached.
- Avoid skiing in the woods. After all, trees don't move.
While Clancy doesn't know all the details of Vonn's injuries, he expects that she likely will be able to return to training in approximately six months and is confident that she'll be able to compete at a high level at the 2014 Olympics next February in Sochi, Russia.
Date Published: 02/08/2013