Snowboarding is an exhilarating sport that many people in Colorado enjoy every winter. But because of the inherent risks involved, snowboarders are also prone to a variety of injuries. Orthopaedic doctors commonly treat snowboarders for injuries like wrist sprains and fractures, rotator cuff tears, and ankle sprains or fractures.
Wrist Sprains and Fractures
Snowboarders often injure the wrist because when they fall, they tend to throw their arms out in front of them to break the fall. A wrist sprain occurs when there is an injury to the ligament. Sprains can range from mild to severe. They are generally treatable with nonsurgical care, including rest and immobilization. Wrist fractures usually involve the radius bone in the forearm, although any of the eight small bones in the wrist may suffer a break. A severe wrist fracture may require months of recovery.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons at the shoulder joint. It’s possible to injure the rotator cuff through wear and tear, but snowboarders tend to suffer acute, traumatic injuries instead. If you fall on your shoulder, for example, you may stretch or tear the rotator cuff. Since rotator cuff tears can become chronic injuries, it’s important to follow the doctor’s treatment plan carefully. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications are followed by a course of physical therapy.
Ankle Sprains and Fractures
Snowboarding boots are softer and more flexible than ski boots. They’re more comfortable, but also less supportive in the event of a fall or severe twisting motion. A serious sprain or fracture may end the season for a snowboarder. Occasionally, a broken ankle requires orthopaedic surgery to put the bones back into alignment. Careful rehabilitation and physical therapy can help prevent chronic ankle instability after an injury.
Steamboat Orthopaedic Associates treats patients for a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, including snowboarding injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system. You can call their office in Steamboat Springs, CO at (970) 879-4612 to request an appointment with a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic doctor.