How to avoid a common winter sports injury

Today Stevens Pass Ski Resort reopened its slopes, which had been closed since Dec. 23. Other ski resorts around the Pacific Northwest are also open. 

As athletes and hobbyists boot up, healthcare providers await the seasonal surge in musculoskeletal injuries. Dr. Mia Hagen, an orthopedic surgeon and the surgical director of the Sports Medicine Center at Husky Stadium, says tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) increase. 

“I'd say that we always have a swell in ACL injury around the time when ski season starts, and it really continues through the course of the season,” said Hagen. 

“A lot of the injuries that we see happen towards the end of the ski day, you know, that last-run kind of thing when muscle fatigue sets in. So just be mindful of that and know your limits," she said. “Everyone always has a lot of excitement to get out there, and just make sure that you've done the appropriate training to start skiing and maybe start on a lighter day.” 

Download broadcast-ready soundbites with more safety tips for skiing, snowboarding and sledding. 

UW Medicine