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Most Common Skiing Orthopedic Accidents

Skiing is a great winter activity that not only serves as great exercise but is also a fun and exhilarating pastime. However, skiing can also be a trap for a variety of orthopedic accidents.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common skiing injuries and the resulting orthopedic conditions related to them.

Most Common Skiing Injuries

High-Speed Falls and Collisions – Skiing involves going down slopes at high speeds, which can make it difficult to slow down in the event of a fall or collision. This causes sudden and quick accidents to happen with a lot of force.

Overuse and Excessive Strain – Skiing involves using the muscles of the body’s core. When individuals are out of shape or do not have sufficient muscle control for skiing, it can cause muscle strain injuries due to overuse or too much pressure on the muscles.

Lack of Equipment Knowledge – Skiing involves the use of large skis that take time to get used to. When individuals don’t know how to maneuver skis and the rest of their equipment, it can cause accidents and injuries. Proper-fitting ski equipment is essential to safely participate in the sport. 

Improper Preparation or Training – Because skiing is not as common a sport as basketball or soccer, a lot of accidents happen because individuals simply do not have the time to practice in order to sufficiently understand how to keep themselves safe while participating in the sport.

Common Orthopedic Conditions Related to Skiing 

Knee and Ankle Sprains & Strains – Knee and ankle sprains and strains are the most common types of orthopedic injuries that occur when skiing. Skiing places heavy pressure on the lower body, especially at the knee and ankle joints. Sprains happen when the knee or ankle is bent too much in an odd position or after a bad fall that causes the joint to bend out of position. Because skiing involves high speeds, young children or adults who do not participate in the sport very often can easily get muscle strains from the activity. 

Fractures – Another common orthopedic injury related to skiing is fracture. The most common places for fractures are at the wrist or in the leg. When a person falls with an arm outstretched, a fracture can easily happen at the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Fractures in the legs are also common in collisions or bad falls while skiing. 

Shoulder Dislocations – Another common skiing injury is a shoulder dislocation. Shoulders can become dislocated when they are bent in an unnatural way in an accident.

Back Injuries – Hurting the back, particularly the lower back, is common among skiers. Because skiing requires core strength, and can involve falls or collisions at high speeds, the back is commonly hurt in skiing accidents. Orthopedic conditions affecting the back can range from muscle soreness to disc displacements, depending on the severity of the skiing accident.

If you receive a ski injury or have a sports-related orthopedic issue, consider seeing the professionals at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence. Their physicians have a wealth of experience treating a variety of conditions including all manner of sports-related injuries. Call (719) 623-1050 to make your appointment. You can also request an appointment online.

Can Scoliosis Occur Later in Life?

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves to the left or right. It can be slight or severe, and there may or may not be a defined reason for developing the condition. Most of the time, scoliosis develops around the time of puberty. Adolescent girls get scoliosis more than boys, and children more than adults. In rare cases, scoliosis can also develop during adulthood.

Your spine has natural curves, like an S, that gently support your body and its movement. When a person has scoliosis, a sideways curvature is present. Some of the symptoms of scoliosis include pain, tingling in the extremities, and noticeable abnormalities in posture (like uneven shoulders or stooping). Nobody knows why people develop scoliosis, but there is some evidence of hereditary factors. 

There are two types of scoliosis, idiopathic and degenerative. Idiopathic scoliosis usually develops in and is diagnosed in young adolescents. Idiopathic scoliosis may not be diagnosed until adulthood, either because there may have been no symptoms for many years, or the curvature has become more pronounced.

Degenerative scoliosis is more likely to occur in adults. Just like many orthopedic conditions faced by older adults, degenerative scoliosis is preceded by wearing down of the cartilage between the bones of the spine. The spinal bones collapse against each other and can deviate to the side. Osteoarthritis of the spine results in scoliosis for some people. Some patients will also have osteoporosis also add the possible complication of a fracture due to the pressure on the spinal curvature. But just as idiopathic scoliosis may not cause any symptoms or discomfort, the same is true for degenerative scoliosis. There is no need for treatment if it is not causing the patient any issues with pain or mobility. Of course, a patient is unlikely to seek treatment and be diagnosed if there are no troubling symptoms.

Some possible reasons for the increase in cases of adult scoliosis are that people are living longer, and more active lives. Wear and tear of the cartilage in the back happens more quickly when there is more movement, such as from running, playing sports, or just walking. People also are more likely to seek out help for back pain than they may have been in the past. As the field of orthopedic medicine develops and specialists are more widely available, people increasingly know where to go with their back pain and they have more trust in orthopedic physicians who can help.

The severity of scoliosis is measured in degrees that the spine moves away from the center. If the curve is less than 40 degrees, most of the time conservative methods of treatment are effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms and preventing further curvature. Conservative treatments may include medication, physical therapy, or braces to provide stability and decrease pain. Surgical correction is a possible treatment for severe cases of scoliosis. Spinal surgery carries a significant risk of complications, so it is not normally considered unless there is severe pain or deformity. Each case is unique, so the surgery is performed with the goal of preventing further pain and damage in addition to correcting the abnormalities. 

Patients in the Colorado Springs area who have sports injuries or any orthopedic injury trust the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence to provide the best care. If you have an orthopedic injury or condition, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.