What does the Ski season mean for Physios?

It means an increase in knee injuries, in particular ACL tears & ruptures. by Davide Tieppe, Manual Physio at Fitzrovia

With the the ski season fast approaching, it’s time to talk about the most commonly injured joint in skiing, the knee.

Tears and ruptures of the ACL account for up to 50% of these, hence we see a spike in the number of patients presenting to the clinic with these injuries in the first quarter of the year. Recovery is long (a recommended minimum of 9 months for return to sport) and whilst we can help get you back on the slopes for the following season, we can’t keep you company at the bottom of the mountain counting down the hours until your mates finish carving for the day, for the remainder of your ski trip.

The anterior collateral ligament (ACL) is a strong ligament in the centre of the knee important for rotational stability of the knee. It is usually injured when the knee is bent and the knee and the lower leg is turned in, i.e if catching an inside edge during a turn or landing in a dynamic snowplough position.

Risk factors commonly associated with ACL injuries are: bindings not releasing, being female (sorry ladies!), and physical factors including poor abdominal and hamstring strength, and decreased lower limb control.

A review of studies on injury prevention programs has shown them to effectively reduce the incidence of ACL injuries in high-risk sports by 50% and this seems to be the trend with alpine sports too.

So get yourself ski-fit and minimise the risk of a cold and lonely season!

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