A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Slippery Slope


Winter sports are fun, but take care.

With more skiers and snowboarders come more injuries, says Professor of Orthopaedics Brett Owens, MD, lead author of a recent analysis in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Skiing and snowboarding are associated with a large number of injuries, with specific patterns and anatomic areas affected,” he says. Of the 140,000 people treated in 2015, snowboarders were three times more likely than skiers to sustain injury.

“While some injuries are unavoidable, many are caused by skiers and snowboarders exceeding their comfort zone in either speed or technical challenges on the mountain. It is critical to stay in control and be prepared to slow and stop to avoid contact with another person on the slope,” Owens says.

Here’s his crash course in injury prevention:

• Be prepared for the season with well-conditioned muscles.

• Stay hydrated.

• Know about how to use your equipment properly, and ensure everything is in optimal working condition.

• Always wear a helmet.

• Avoid alcohol or drug use.

• Make sure you can slow down and stop on busy days when lots of other people are on the mountain.

• Use extreme caution in bad weather.

• Always follow signs and ski patrol instructions. Never ski or snowboard out of bounds.


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