Whatever your level of experience, injuries while skiing are all too common and can put you out of sporting action for a long time, especially if you are unfortunate to suffer an ACL tear. The ACL is one of four ligaments in the knee. It runs from the back edge of the bottom of the thigh bone (femur) to the front edge of the top of the shin bone (tibia). The job of the ACL is to provide stability to the knee by preventing the tibia from sliding forward or twisting.
Recovery from a ruptured ACL is lengthy as reconstructive surgery is required to restore the stability of the knee. Intense physiotherapy is needed following surgery for up to nine months before a return to sporting activity is possible. Despite all this treatment, the knee is never as strong again and your chance of re-injury is high.
ACL tears in skiers have become more common as skiing technology has developed. Modern skis have increased the likelihood of skis catching in the snow, which can lead to the knee twisting. Ski boots further increase the chances of an ACL tear due to the increased support and protection they provide at the ankle, which places increased demands on the knee. However, snowboarders incur fewer knee injuries, so there are other options to look at if you do suffer a knee injury and want to return to the slopes year after year.
So what can be done to prevent an ACL tear?
Following these top tips can go a long way to prevent injury:
And to reduce the risk of general injury: