How Skiing Can Harm Your Foot & Ankle
Skiing is a great way to spend time with family and get exercise during those cold winter
months. It’s also good for your body, helping strengthen bones, joints and muscles, boosting
your mood, increasing cardiovascular endurance, and improving balance and flexibility.
However, as with any sport, there is a chance of injury. Here are the most common ways skiing
can harm your foot or ankle.
Even though your ankle is encased in a firm boot and stabilized while on the slopes, injuries can
still occur. They happen most frequently when the skier falls. In many cases sprains occur
following a landing on the outside of the foot causing the foot to twist inward or when a ski tip
is caught and the boot not released from the binding fast enough. Another common injury is
the “boot top” fracture that occurs when the skier falls and the tibia or fibula bones of the
lower leg break at the top of the boot.
If you injure your ankle be sure to let it rest in elevation, wrapping it in a bandage, and placing a
bag of ice on top to reduce swelling.
What if that’s not enough? How do you know if you need medical attention? Here are three
signs you need to see a professional.
- You heard a “pop” sound at the time of injury.
- The pain in your ankle or foot was instant and the swelling did not subside within the
first few days.
- You have continued instability in the ankle even when you are back to walking.
If you experience any of these signs, you should seek medical care right away. Come on in and
we’ll evaluate the problem and help you find the fastest route to healing so you can be back on
the mountain in no time.
Dr. Kennedy is currently the clinical director of the running clinic at Hospital for Special Surgery. He graduated from Royal College of Surgeons in 1989 and has since practiced in both Ireland & the U.S. He specializes in osteochondral injuries, Achilles tendon injuries, ankle instability, and ligament reconstruction and has a primary interest in lower limb surgery, particularly sports-related injuries.