• Nuffield Hospital Leeds

    2 Leighton street, Leeds, LS1 3EB
    Main switchboard: 0113 388 2000
    Out-patient bookings: 0113 388 2067

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    BMI The Duchy Hospital Harrogate

    Queens Road, Harrogate, HG2 OHF
    Main switchboard: 01423 567136
    Out-patient bookings: 0808 101 0337

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    Spire Methley Park Hospital

    Methley Lane, Methley, Leeds, LS26 9HG
    Main switchboard: 01977 518518
    Out-patient bookings: 01977 518518

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  • Skiing Injuries

    The knee specialists at The Yorkshire Knee Clinic are kept busy
    in the winter and spring months with injuries from the ski slopes.

    Although a third of all skiing injuries affect the knee (women are
    particularly at risk from ACL injures on the ski slopes), it is important
    to recognise that, given the number of people who enjoy skiing and
    other active winter sports, serious injuries are uncommon.

    How To Prevent Injury

    • Perform pre-trip exercises for six to eight weeks before departure. For advice, talk to our specialist physiotherapists.
    • Ensure all your equipment (especially ski bindings) is professionally fitted and well-maintained.
    • Limit (or better still, avoid) alcohol during the day. Research has shown that excess alcohol contributes to a higher percentage of hospital admissions after lunch.
    • Beware of fatigue. If you’re feeling tired, don’t do that last run.

    If you are unfortunate enough to pick up a knee injury, it is vital that you get a proper diagnosis from a knee specialist as soon as possible to avoid further damage. With the exception of fractures, immediate surgical treatments are rarely necessary. In the case of ACL reconstruction, early surgery can actually result in poorer outcomes. A simple brace and crutches are usually enough to protect the knee during travel.

    Once you return home, however, it’s vital that you get a clear diagnosis from your knee specialist. You can contact Yorkshire Knee Clinic here.

    Most Common Knee-Related Skiing Injuries

    Most knee ligament injuries that occur whilst skiing are sustained by falling and the ski not releasing.

    MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain/tear

    We’ll help you manage a simple sprain with the help of a physiotherapist. Early mobilisation (i.e. moving around and using the knee) can also help. If our knee specialists diagnose a major tear you will need a hinged brace (splint) and you should be wearing this within a week or so of injury – so it’s important you see your knee consultant as soon as possible. With bracing, most MCL injuries heal and you should make an excellent recovery. Delays in diagnosis, however, can lead to the knee becoming unstable and requiring knee ligament surgery – with less predictable results.

    Read more about MCL/PCL & complex ligament injuries

    ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) rupture

    This most serious of ligament injuries can cause the knee to become unstable particularly when twisting – a key action for turning on the slopes. Longer term, it can also increase the risk of the knee wearing out early (osteoarthritis). At Yorkshire Knee Clinic, we can manage these injuries with physiotherapy alone or a combination of physiotherapy and ACL reconstruction surgery. It’s important to get advice from a specialist knee doctor quickly, but beware of being pressurised into early ACL surgery abroad as this can be counterproductive.

    Find out more about ACL Injuries

    Knee cartilage tears

    The twisting nature of skiing falls can lead to tears in one of the two menisci (cartilages). These can vary from small tears which cause discomfort but no locking, to larger tears which can lock the knee. Small tears can heal and symptoms often settle down, but if discomfort continues to limit activities over 4-6 weeks then your knee consultant may recommend treatment including knee arthroscopy (simple keyhole surgery).

    If you can’t straighten your ‘locked’ knee you should call Yorkshire Knee Clinic for an urgent assessment (within a week or two of injury) as early arthroscopic knee surgery may help save the meniscus and/or restore movement.

    Read more about meniscal cartilage injuries

    Book Your Appointment

    Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s orthopaedic specialists can help you recover from a knee injury caused by skiing, so you can make the swiftest possible return to the slopes. For expert help, contact us here.