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Tips for Preventing Winter Sports Injuries

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AOFAS Patient Guide: Tips for Preventing Winter Sports Injuries 

ROSEMONT, IllinoisFeb. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — If you’re suited up and ready to ski or snowboard, you’re not alone. These popular sports draw more than 9 million participants a year, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).

While cold temperatures, icy surfaces and high speeds can be a risky combination, many foot and ankle problems can be avoided with correct footwear. Read on for fitting tips.

  • Ski and snowboard boots must fit properly. When tightly fastened, your boots should be free of pressure points that might cause blisters. Ankles and heels should remain securely in place.
  • All boots should be snug but not overly tight. Boots that are too tight can decrease blood flow and make cold-weather injuries such as frostbite more likely. But a common mistake is to buy a boot that’s too large and allows the foot to shimmy. A snug boot will allow you to wiggle your toes, but too much wiggle means the boot is too large.
  • Make sure footwear provides warmth, and wear socks that are breathable and moisture-wicking so your feet will stay dry. Keeping feet and toes warm and dry is critical when you’re on the slopes for long periods.
  • If you’re buying your first pair of ski or snowboard boots, consult a boot fitter at your local sporting goods store. These professionals will help you find the proper fit for your sport.

Even with the best boots, accidents can happen. If you suffer an ankle injury on the slopes, you should see a doctor for an exam and an X-ray. There are many types of ankle injuries that mimic sprains, and an accurate diagnosis will help direct treatment to improve the chances of a good recovery.

For tips on identifying injuries, visit the page How to Decide If You Need to See a Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Specialist at, the patient education site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment, both surgical and nonsurgical, of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consists of four years of medical school, five years of post-graduate residency and often a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists treat patients of all ages and perform reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treat sports injuries, and manage foot and ankle trauma.

As the professional organization of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons, the AOFAS supports the specialty and other healthcare providers through evidence-based and best-practice education and research. The Society provides leadership in foot and ankle surgery, serving as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international healthcare communities, and promotes preventive foot and ankle care.

SOURCE American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society