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Common Winter Sports Injuries

What types of winter sports injuries are most common?

The winter sports injuries our clinics typically see are from downhill skiing and snowboarding. Ninety percent of all injuries involve the arm or the leg. In skiers, 60 percent are injuries to the lower extremities and 40 percent are upper extremity injuries. It is the reverse for snowboarders.

Generally, injuries that require assistance in getting off the mountain need to be seen immediately. Our mountain-based facilities in Granby, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Winter Park work closely with ski patrols to serve these patients. Serious injuries may be treated at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco or transported to Denver via Flight For Life® Colorado or ground transportation depending upon need. Many alpine-related injuries do not require surgery and can be managed and resolved with conservative care, including physical and/or occupational therapy.

- Dr. Paul Abbott, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics

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