Can you Ski with Injuries and Fractures?

Winter Sports

Today’s article addresses a question that many people ask themselves: can I go skiing with an injury? We will consider three types of injuries – those that strictly prohibit skiing, those that allow skiing with limitations, and those that pose no threat to skiers’ health.

Skiing is one of the most popular and exciting winter sports. The number of enthusiasts engaging in this activity is measured in tens of millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately, injuries are often associated with such an active pursuit. But even if the injury is not sports-related, it doesn’t mean that skiing with an injury won’t cause further harm. This is a very important question. Let’s delve into it.

Injuries Incompatible with Skiing Until Full Recovery

photo of a red sign set in the snow that says "no ski" against the background of snowy cliffs
  • Fractures of the lower extremities.
  • Spinal fractures or severe spinal cord injuries.
  • Severe head injuries, including concussions, spinal concussions, or cranial-brain injuries.
  • Epilepsy – the risk of seizure during a descent can be fatal.
  • Recent complex bone, joint, or ligament surgeries, including knee joint replacement. Therefore, the answer to whether you can ski after a knee replacement is unfortunately no. Can you ski after hip replacement? The same goes for it. Moreover, you will most likely have to permanently give up such activities to avoid worsening your condition.
  • Severe ligament, cartilage, and tendon injuries requiring surgical intervention and a lengthy rehabilitation period. Can you ski with a torn meniscus? So, the answer is definitely negative.
  • Of course, skiing is not possible with any unsutured wounds or fresh traces of surgery. In general, you should use common sense and listen to your own sensations, as well as carefully follow the recommendations of doctors. Even after an appendectomy, for example, physical activity is recommended to be resumed after 1-1.5 months, and in a very gentle manner. And after a serious ligament tear, you will have to forget about skiing or snowboarding for at least six months. So, find some other activity for yourself.

Injuries that Allow Skiing with Limitations

exclamation point on a yellow background sign set in snow at a ski resort

Injuries that are compatible with skiing allow you to enjoy your favorite descents but with a great deal of caution. Avoid difficult slopes and high speeds. Here are the injuries that will allow you to gradually start exercising:

  • Minor clavicle fractures, finger fractures, and toe fractures. So, if you are specifically wondering, can you ski with a broken toe? The answer is yes, but be careful.
  • Ligament sprains that require restricted movement or the use of a brace or support.
  • Mild joint injuries (minor dislocations and sprains) that require restricted movement and gradual return to training after full recovery. Can you ski with a sprained ankle? So, if it is not in an acute stage, the answer is yes, but gently, without excessive stress, and with additional fixation (compression) of the injured area. And if there is an acute stage and a serious tear, the answer to whether you can ski with a torn ACL will not be so optimistic, you will have to focus on recovery.
  • Good news for those who ask, can you ski with a bad back? In general, yes, such physical activity can even be beneficial. But again, always remember that only a specialist can give you an accurate answer after making a diagnosis.
  • Can I ski with an inguinal hernia? Yes, with a mild hernia and at minimal speeds, no sudden movements

Injuries that Allow Skiing Without Limitations

a girl in orange pants and pigtails is skiing and smiling broadly with happiness

Among such injuries, minor soft tissue injuries, minor abrasions and bruises that do not restrict movement, as well as minor dislocations that do not cause significant pain during movement, prevail. However, it should be emphasized once again: do not engage in self-treatment and rely on your own well-being. Even if you think that nothing hurts, it’s not worth neglecting a doctor’s consultation. Sometimes an injury can be more serious than you perceive it. There have been cases where people did not feel much pain or endured it until it turned out that their bone had healed incorrectly.

Can You Ski if Pregnant?

The answer is clear – all obstetricians and gynecologists strongly recommend avoiding not only skiing but also cycling and rollerblading throughout the entire pregnancy, whether it’s the first trimester or the final weeks before childbirth.

Cost of Treating Sports Injuries

To understand how expensive your health can be in every sense, here is a small table with prices for typical moderately complex surgeries in several countries where ski tourism is developed or where traumatology and rehabilitation are highly advanced:

Country Hip Joint Replacement from (EUR) Knee Joint Replacement from (EUR)
Czech Republic 13000 13500
Germany 18000 15000
Israel 19000 20000
South Korea 18500 19500

As you can see, such treatments cannot be considered very cheap. Plus, you will have to pay for each additional day of stay and cover other associated expenses. Therefore, ski insurance is a crucial element of your travel plans.

Also, don’t forget that a significant number of doctors specializing in these types of injuries believe that only those who feel completely healthy, are not in the rehabilitation stage, and have no other restrictions should engage in downhill skiing. This is not only related to injuries directly but also to indirect consequences. For example, if you ski with an injured leg, you will be thinking about the injury, and your attention will not be focused on the descent itself. And this can already be dangerous.

We hope you have obtained an answer to the question of whether you can ski after knee replacement surgery or other types of injuries. Take care of yourself!

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