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Common Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Staying Safe on the Slopes


Updated January 23, 2014

Whether you like to ski or snowboard (or one of the dozens of other types of gravity-related snow transport devices) there's always a chance of injury. Overall, less than 4 injuries happen for every 1,000 days of skiing or snowboarding, which isn't bad. Of course, some of those injuries are pretty major -- and some are even life-threatening.

1. Knee Sprains

Twisting and turning on big sticks strapped to your feet has a way of putting a bit of strain on anyone's knees. Knees are only supposed to bend in one direction, and only go a certain distance at that.

2. Broken Wrists

(c) Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Of course, if you strap both legs to the same board and fall over, the natural tendency is to put a hand down.

3. Broken Legs

Whether you like two sticks or one, the things are strapped to your legs. Bones can only handle so much.

4. Facial Injuries

Believe it or not, most facial injuries in skiing are from getting smacked by the T-bar. Whether it's a nosebleed or a cut, it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

5. Shoulder Dislocations

Supposedly, each time you do this it gets easier. I wouldn't want to try.

6. Ankle Sprains

(c) Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Get bindings that let go. Ankle sprains don't help you get the most of that season ticket.

7. Spinal Injuries

(c) Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Spinal injuries are very rare on the slopes, but still account for 4-10% of all fatalities.

8. Sunburns

Not considered specifically a skier's injury, but there's nothing like a bunch of white snow to reflect sunshine all over your face.

9. Hypothermia

Gonna get lost out of bounds? Stay warm.

10. Head Injuries

(c) sookie
Kids clobber their noggins more than any other group, and probably would benefit from wearing helmets. Powder is soft, but trees aren't too forgiving.
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