Winter Sports Injuries

Every year The London Orthopaedic Clinic diagnoses and treats many ski/snowboarding related injuries as snow sports’ holidays are more likely to end in an injury than any other kind of trip - one in 14 say they have been injured on previous winter holidays. Other winter sports like tobogganing or ice skating can also result in an accident.

Winter sports (snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, ice hockey, ice skating and tobogganing) are fun activities, however if proper precautions are not taken, they can lead to disaster. So while enjoying the season of snow and ice, don't underestimate the dangers of winter sports and keep safety in mind.

Many injuries occur at the end of the day when people are tired. These injuries can be prevented if participants prepare for their sport, stay alert, stop when tired or in pain and keep in good physical condition. So know your limits and avoid participating when you are in pain or exhausted.

Hypothermia, frostbite and snow blindness can also occur when exercising or playing sport in cold weather. So wear appropriate protective equipment, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding, and make sure equipment is in good working order and used properly. Also wear several layers of light, loose water/wind wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. In addition wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness. Footwear that is too tight or too loose will affect skin circulation and cause blisters.

Warm up

Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury such as sprains, strains and ruptures. To prevent these injuries warm up by slowly and gently stretching your muscles.


Apply sunscreen (at least “Factor 30”) to exposed skin. Also wear eyewear with UV protection.


While alcohol seems to warm you up, it actually dilates your blood vessels increasing blood flow to the skin thereby increasing heat loss. It also lowers your reaction time and puts you at much greater risk for injury. So avoid alcohol while participating on snow/ice. Finally never participate alone in a winter sport.

Injuries can be caused by

  • Simple or major falls
  • Awkward landings on soft or hard snow
  • Collisions with other skiers or boarders
  • Hitting a tree, rock or other hard surfaces
  • Ski lift- can always be a hazard (embarking/disembarking on or off)

Common areas injured

  • Knees, especially ligaments (Skier)
  • Foot and Ankle (Skier or boarder)
  • Wrist, elbow (Boarder)
  • Hand (skier-Skier’s thumb)
  • Shoulder, clavicle or collar bone (skier / boarder)
  • Other Ligaments, Tendons, Muscles (skiers and boarders)
  • Back-muscle, discs, coccyx (skiers and boarders)

Treatment for Winter Sports Injuries

The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers the following treatment for Winter Sports Injuries:

Consultation (clinical assessment and treatment)

Imaging (MRI, X –ray, ultrasound).


Plaster/dressing application

Physiotherapy/Return to fitness ( The London Orthopaedic work extensively with the best physio’s in London and outer regions and we will refer on depending on the most suitable treatment for the patients needs)

Find a condition


Emergency clinicians

Mr. Brian Cohen
MD FRCS (Tr&Orth)
Mr. Jig Patel
MB BS FRCS (Tr&Orth)
Mr. Rohit Madhav
MB BS FRCS (Tr&Orth)
Mr. R. Lloyd Williams
MB BS FRCS (Tr&Orth)
Mr. Sean Curry
MB BS FRCS (Tr&Orth)