By Christopher Ferlo, PT, Center Manager at Milford Center
More than half of skiing injuries involve the lower extremity, with more than 30 percent of injuries directly related to the knee. While the introduction of bindings that release has nearly eliminated skiing-related leg fractures in the past 30 years, MCL sprains, ACL sprains and meniscal cartilage tears remain common.
From a physical therapist’s perspective, body preparation is essential to preventing ski-related knee injuries. Body preparation can be achieved through cardiovascular fitness, range of motion and flexibility exercises, ski-specific exercises, balance and proprioception exercises, dynamic functional movements and core-strengthening exercises. Physical therapy is a good option for learning about and treating ski-related knee injuries, including training and exercises specific for returning to full participation in the sport.
Although all ski-related injuries cannot be avoided, many can be prevented through proper training, conditioning and preparation. If a knee injury is suspected, seek immediate medical advice and treatment.