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How Do You Prevent Winter Sports Injuries? The Pros at OrthoConnecticut Give Tips

man skiingWinter is the time some sports enthusiasts look forward to enjoying skiing, ice skating, snowboarding and more. However, winter is also when orthopedists see many injuries related to those very sports.

Most Common Winter Injuries Orthopedists See

According to Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, a Sports Medicine Specialist at OrthoConnecticut, the most common injuries he sees this time of year are torn ACLs from skiers, broken or fractured wrists from snow boarders and skaters, and many concussions.

Proper Gear Can Prevent Common Injuries

He recommends always wearing a helmet for any of these winter sports, since this simple step can prevent a serious concussion. To prevent against broken wrists, he suggests using a specialized glove with a wrist guard built-in, which can help prevent a fracture. Wearing mouth guards and other protective equipment when playing hockey is also a must.

For skiers, be sure the bindings are appropriate for your weight and height so they will disengage when needed. A torn ACL occurs when the foot is planted and the knee is turned. If the bindings release your foot after a fall, you are less likely to tear the ACL.

How to Determine if the Injury is Serious

How do you know if you’ve torn your ACL? “You usually hear a pop in the knee, followed by swelling and pain when putting weight on the knee. If that happens see an orthopedist immediately,” Dr. Ciminiello advises. The same holds true for a broken wrist. If you have swelling after a fall and are unable to use the hand properly, see an orthopedist. “Do not take a wait and see attitude, since immediate treatment will result in a much more successful recovery,” he adds.

Stretching Really is Important for Injury Prevention

Stretching, too, is important for all winter sports. Athletes who play winter outdoor sports are often cold before they begin playing, so stretching your muscles helps warm them up and prevents hamstring pulls and other injuries. This includes winter outdoor runners, too.

The Premiere Sports Injury Practice in the Region

OrthoConnecticut treats more than 2,000 sports injury cases each year --- from ACL and rotator cuff surgeries to complicated multi-ligament injuries to tendonitis. They are also at the forefront of concussion management.

With offices in Danbury, Ridgefield and Southbury, OrthoConnecticut is the area’s premier multi-specialty orthopedic practice. The Sports Medicine Center at OrthoConnecticut is dedicated to the complete care of the athlete -- from professional, collegiate and high school athletes to recreational, youth players and weekend warriors. The Sports Medicine Center specializes in sports injury treatment and rehabilitation through both surgical and non-surgical techniques. The team of four fellowship-trained Sports Medicine Specialty Physicians include: Dr. Michael G. Brand, Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, and Dr. Ross Henshaw. Walk-in orthopedic urgent care services for injuries are also available at the group’s OrthoCare Express location at 2 Riverview Drive at Berkshire Office Park in Danbury, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

Contact us today to learn more or to make an appointment.