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Your Healthy Family: Safe landings if you love catching air on the slopes

Posted at 8:37 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 13:47:53-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – In this story, we are following up on our last story about preventing skiing injuries.  Dr. Matt Javernick, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with UCHealth Memorial, says torn ACL’s are the most common ski injury he sees and are caused by either falls – or for the more adventurous or young at heart – jumps.

Dr. Javenick explains, “The landing is similar to the phantom foot.  When we land backwards or with our weight back, the stiff ski boot drives your tibia (lower leg) forward.  If you land on hard snow without a good position, it will drive that tibia forward and rupture the ACL very quickly.”

By way of review from our last story, Dr. Javernick says to avoid ACL injuries skiing:

  1. Always ski terrain that is equal to your ability
  2. Keep good body position, (hands, and weight forward over skis)
  3. Have your equipment checked by a tech

If catching air on the slopes is something you just can’t resist, Dr. Javenick says,  “For jumping, start out slow and warm up for the day. Really concentrate on the exit, or when you leave for the jump.  That will set up how you land, and it’s really important how you land. You want to be in control. A controlled landing is depending all on how you leave for the jump.  You want to land with your knees, hips and ankles bent, and try to land softly. The more you practice that, even on little jumps, it will start to play into your bigger jumps.”

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