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Ski and board injuries can be devastating. Whether caused by high-speed collisions or falling, these injuries can require significant medical treatment and cause lifelong disabilities. Below are some of the most common injuries suffered as a result of a ski or board accident:


While modern helmets have certainly helped many people avoid head injuries, they are not an absolute guaranty that someone will not suffer head trauma or a traumatic brain injury.


If you have any of these symptoms following a ski or board accident, you should seek medical attention immediately:


  • Fatigue

  • Severe headache

  • Blurred vision

  • Dizziness or balance problems

  • Siezures

  • Ringing in ears

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Memory loss

  • Poor attention/concentration

  • Irratibility/emotional disturbances

  • Mood changes

  • Feelings of depression

  • Nausea

  • Loss of smell

  • Getting lost or confused

  • Slowness in thinking


This is not a complete list or intended for self-diagnosis. If you feel that you have any of these, or other, symptoms of a head injury, seek medical attention immediately.


Neck injuries can also be just as severe. The primary concern in any neck injury is the possibility of spinal cord compression. This is why most people who suffer a neck injury on the slopes will be placed in a neck brace and taken down the mountain by the Ski Patrol in a sled.


If you have been in a ski or board accident and have persistent pain in your neck or any numbness or tingling in your arms, wrists, or hands, you should seek medical attention immediately. While most sprain/strain type injures will heal with treatment and time, disc injuries can be more troublesome. These may require extended periods of physical therapy, injections, or even surgery to alleviate the symptoms.




The primary concern with back injuries, as with neck injuries, is spinal cord compression. While these injuries are rare, back injuries can be totally disabling and require years of medical treatment, even surgery to correct.


Hip injuries are fairly common in ski and board accidents. Whether a sprain or fracture, these usually require immediate medial attention and referral to an orthopedic specialist.


Depending on the condition that's causing your hip pain, you might feel discomfort in the following areas:


  • Thigh

  • Inside of the hip joint

  • Groin

  • Outside of the hip joint

  • Buttocks


Hip labral tears can also occur during a collision or fall. A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage, called the labrum, that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. The labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket.


Many hip labral tears cause no signs or symptoms. Occasionally, however, you may experience one or more of the following:


  • A locking, clicking or catching sensation in your hip joint

  • Pain in your hip or groin

  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in your hip joint


Treatment choices will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Some people recover with conservative treatments in a few weeks, while others may require arthroscopic surgery to repair or remove the torn portion of the labrum.







Wrist injuries are some of the most common injuries in snow boarding. The can also occur during a fall on skiis or by jamming a pole. These include sprains, strains, and fractures. Even a minor fracture can lead to long term problems if not treated properly. 


Knee injuries are also very common in skiing. Sometimes associated with improper ski binding settings for the skier's size and ability level, they can also occur during a collision or fall. 


The same is true with a leg fracture.  These are common in ski accidents due to the rigidity of ski boots, which often cause fractures just above the top of the boot.


Complications of a leg fracture may include:


  • Knee or ankle pain. A broken bone in your leg may produce pain in your knee or ankle.

  • Poor or delayed healing. A severe leg fracture may not heal quickly or completely. This is particularly common in an open fracture of your tibia because of lower blood flow to this bone.

  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis). If you have an open fracture, your bone may be exposed to fungi and bacteria that can cause infection.

  • Nerve or blood vessel damage. Fracture of the leg can injure adjacent nerves and blood vessels. Seek immediate medical help if you notice any numbness or circulation problems.

  • Compartment syndrome. This neuromuscular condition causes pain, swelling and sometimes disability in muscles near the broken bone. This is a rare complication that is more common with high-impact injuries.

  • Arthritis. Fractures that extend into the joint and poor bone alignment can cause osteoarthritis years later. If your leg starts to hurt long after a break, see your doctor for an evaluation.

  • Unequal leg length. The long bones of a child grow from the ends of the bones, in softer areas called growth plates. If a fracture goes through a growth plate, that limb might eventually become shorter or longer than the opposite limb.

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