Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sports; however both can lead to serious hand and wrist injuries. The most common injury seen in skiing accidents is a thumb ligament tear. This almost always happens when the skier falls with poles in his/her hands. To avoid this injury:
- Never place your hands through the straps of the ski poles. Hold the strap alongside the pole.
- Try to let go of the poles when falling.
- Try not to use your hands to break a fall.
In snowboarding, the most common injuries are to the wrist and forearm. This is because snowboarders tend to use their hands and arms to break a fall. Other than attempting to not use your hands to break your fall, always wear wrist guards (or gloves with built-in wrist guards) when snowboarding.
Skiing and snowboarding injuries can range from a simple sprain to a partial or full ligament tear, or a broken bone. Treatment can include splints, casts or surgery if the injury is severe enough. Consult a hand surgeon about the best treatment for you. Visit www.HandCare.org to find a surgeon near you.