Snowboarder’s Fracture

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
ph. 406.556.0562