Snow Injuries Clinic

Snow Sports Injury Clinic 

Snowboarding and skiing continue to grow in popularity, with more people taking up this extreme sport each year. However, both sports place great mechanical stress on the body and can bring with them a high number of injuries. 

If you’ve sustained a fall or minor injury while on the slopes, don’t delay getting it checked out. Hairline fractures, cartilage damage and little niggles can grow into something bigger if not treated. If you’ve been treated in a hospital abroad and aren’t sure whether you need more treatment back in the UK, we can provide you with the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat any snow injury. 

Common snow sports injuries 

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
  • Medical collateral ligament (MCL) injury
  • Shoulder injuries and dislocations 
  • Concussion 
  • Skier’s thumb 
  • Meniscal tear
  • Snowboarder’s ankle 
  • Ankle sprains 
  • Groin and hip injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries 
     
Coming across Fortius was honestly one of the best decisions my team and I have ever made for my career – Natalia Harte, Professional Skier

Diagnosing your injury 

If you’ve had an X-ray in the hospital local to the resort you were staying at, this could rule out fractures and broken bones. However, if you are still experiencing pain following your injury, it could be you have soft tissue damage to your cartilage, ligaments, tendons and other tissues. An MRI scan highlights any potential or existing injury or damage to your soft tissues that may require treatment and rehabilitation. 

Rehabilitation and prevention 

Our sports physicians and surgeons work closely with some of the UK’s top physiotherapists and other allied health professionals. Our expert physician team of Rheumatologists and Sports and Exercise Medicine doctors can help design specialist rehabilitation treatment programmes in conjunction with other specialists.

Top tips for ski injury prevention 

  1. Start a fitness programme or regular exercise at least two months before your trip, working on your strength and flexibility 
  2. Make sure you warm up before you hit the slopes, your muscles will be even colder than usual in the mountains, and cold muscles are more prone to injury
  3. Start slow to build up your skiing 
  4. Don’t overdo it. Most injuries happen at the end of the day when people are tired and going for that ‘one last run’ 
  5. Resting every couple of hours to give yourself a break – perfect excuse for a hot chocolate!
  6. Wear a helmet to protect against concussion and more serious head injuries
  7. If the piste is icy at the end of the day, take the lift back down 
  8. You can improve your technique with lessons, the better your technique, the less likely you are to fall or put strain on your joints 
  9. Even mild levels of dehydration can affect physical ability and endurance – take water breaks often 
  10. Avoid alcohol at lunchtime – it can make you more reckless and slow your reactions. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t drink and ski! 
  11. Poor equipment or badly adjusted equipment can often cause injuries. Your bindings should be roughly your weight in kilos divided by 10. Crank up or down depending on your mobility. 
  12. Don’t put your hands inside the ski pole loop – this greatly increases the risk of skier’s thumb
  13. If you snowboard, consider wearing wrist guards to protect against falls 
  14. If you plan on exploring off piste, get a guide. Make sure you have the right insurance cover, and an avalanche survival kit. 
     

Make sure you warm up before you hit the slopes! Just as you would before a run or a match, cold muscles are more prone to injury.