By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
Injuries to the legs are less common in snowboarding than they are in skiing. However, injuries to the knee and ankle are still account for 1/3 of injuries in snowboarding, especially in more advanced riders. Just as with injuries to the upper extremity, injuries to the knee/ankle can range in severity from a strain/sprain to torn ligaments and fractures. Injuries sustained from a fall after a jump that result in noticeable swelling and walking with a severe limp, indicate the injury is probably a more severe injury and requires medical examination. One snowboarding-specific ankle injury deserves mention here. A fracture of the lateral process of the talus (a bone of the foot/ankle) is very rare in other sports (<1% of ankle injuries), but is relatively common in snowboarding (~15% of ankle injuries) and is often called a “snowboarder’s fracture”. This can be mistaken for a severe ankle sprain, and hard to see on regular x-rays. A fracture of the lateral process of the talus necessitates medical care as it may require surgery to allow for proper healing. Therefore if you do get a “bad” ankle sprain that doesn’t seem to be healing after 1-2 weeks, it is important to go see your physician for further evaluation.
Jason B. Lunden, PT
Board-certified Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy
Excel Physical Therapy 1125 W. Kagy Blvd. Suite 101A
Bozeman, MT 59715
"Taking my daughter to Excel PT has been a great experience for her! Jason has her improving strength, flexibility and cardio all while she is recovering from a foot surgery. She'll be back playing soccer just as we'd hoped- but better than ever thanks to his training. Thanks Jason!" -- L.M. Bozeman PatientView more testimonials from Excel PT clients »