New Data Published into Reducing ACL Risk for Recreational Skiers

reducing skiing knee injury risk

It may seem strange to discuss a skiing knee injury during the hottest months of the year, but a new study published within the British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed changing ski types could reduce the risk of an ACL injury. The goal of the research was to determine if standing height ratio and ski geometry affected the risk of ACL in recreational skiers.

So, what did the study find and is it possible to reduce your risk of an ACL injury while skiing? Find out everything you need to know below.

What did the study find?

The latest case-controlled study assessed skiers both with ACL injuries and without them. A total of 1817 participants took part in the research, 392 of whom had an ACL injury. A retrospective questionnaire was carried out to help the researchers gather data.

The skis of the participants provided geometry data such as side-cut radius, ski length, and the widths of the tip. Standing heights at the rear and front of the ski binding were measured using a digital sliding calliper.

It was discovered that a lower skill level and age are individual risk factors for developing an ACL injury. Additionally, standing height ratio, an increased ski tip, and the ski’s width tip, are also risk factors.

This means if recreational skiers want to avoid an ACL injury, paying attention to the equipment they rent, or buy is crucial.

What is an ACL injury?

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a tough band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. Injuries such as a tear or sprain of the ACL tend to occur in athletes who perform sudden changes in movement or stops. Downhill skiers, football players, and basketball players are most at risk of developing an ACL injury, and they can greatly vary in severity.

Common symptoms of this type of injury include:

  • Hearing a loud popping sound as the injury occurs
  • Severe pain
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Rapid swelling
  • Instability in the area

If skiers do develop these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate treatment.

Treating ACL injuries in skiers

If an ACL injury is suspected, the knee will need to be examined and X-Rays will be taken. You will then be advised of the relevant treatment required by a knee specialist.

The type of treatment needed will depend upon the severity of the injury. Initially, the focus will be on reducing any pain and swelling. This includes keeping the leg elevated, using ice compressions, and resting the injury.

Some patients may require physiotherapy, medications, and potentially even surgery. Over the counter painkillers are great for relieving the initial pain, and physiotherapy can aid in improving range of motion. Surgery is usually recommended if there is instability in the knee, as well as for those who play sports and want to get back to their pre-injury fitness.

If you suspect you have an ACL injury, or if you are searching for the best treatment approach, book a consultation with Mr Jonathon Webb today.