Snow skiing is very popular with our patients. Unfortunately, it not only comeswith many bumps and bruises but, also, occasionally broken bones and ligament injuries.

Remember – your injuries are best treated in your home: in Kansas City!

There is a disturbing trend among ski areas to put a “hard sell” on patientswho are injured on the ski slopes. Almost every orthopedic injury can be splinted, iced,and protected for a trip home to obtain definitive treatment. You don’t want to havesurgery by a stranger in one city and have someone else follow it up in another city.

When the Dickson-Diveley Clinic has someone from out of town with an injury, we helpsend them home for care in their home city. If the condition is safe to transfer, weaccommodate patients (for example, professional athletes and travelers) to return home totheir orthopedic surgeon. We do not try to put a “hard sell” on patients to getthe surgery and then relegate the post-surgical care to someone else.

If you have any doubts about your injury, call the Dickson-Diveley Ski Line andtalk to our physician on call: 1-800-531-KNEE.

Common Ski Injuries:

Skier’s Thumb

Skier’s thumb is one of the most common skiing injuries. It occurs when someone fallson the outstretched hand and bends the thumb back. The ligament torn is the ulnarcollateral ligament of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint. A large percentage of theseinjuries can be treated in a cast. Virtually all of them can be splinted for safetransport home.

If you sustain a ligament injury or a fracture in your thumb or hand, ask the emergencydoctor in ski country to splint it so you may return home for definitive care by yourKansas City orthopedic surgery service.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are very common in the sport of skiing. Many knee injuries do not requiresurgery, for example, medial collateral ligament injuries. Many knee injuries requireelective surgery to reconstruct the knee for optimum function.

A common ligament injured is the anterior cruciate ligament – commonly called ACL. Ifthis ligament is torn, it is very likely you will need surgical repair of your knee. Thisoperation is elective and frequently done best 2-3 weeks after the accident.

If you sustain a twisting injury to your knee and are told that you have a tornligament in your knee, ask the emergency room physician in ski country if it is safe tosplint your knee for the trip home. It is the rare instance where this is not possible.

Many managed care organizations consider knee ligament injuries elective procedures andmay not honor charges for elective surgery done out of their network. Ask the emergencyroom physician in ski country to splint your knee for safe transport home to your KansasCity orthopedic surgeon.

Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures are less common in ski injuries than they were previously. Modern bootdesigns help protect the ankle. However, they still do occur. Most ankle fractures can besplinted and iced for safe transfer home. Ankle dislocations or severe ankle fractures maybenefit from immediate fixation. If you sustain an ankle fracture, ask the emergency roomphysician in ski country if it can be safely splinted for transfer home. Most fracturesare treated best and followed up best by your hometown Kansas City orthopedic surgeon.

Tibia Fractures

Tibia fractures are not uncommon in the sport of skiing. They usually result from ablow to the tibia (for example, a tree) or a twisting force to the leg during a fall.Tibia fractures are most commonly treated surgically with a device called anintramedullary rod – a long rod which goes down the middle of the tibia to hold it inline. Most fractures can be splinted in the city of injury and shipped home for definitivetreatment. The use of crutches and a splint and a long-leg cast will stabilize mostfractures adequately for transfer. Some tibia fractures may require emergency treatment atthe place of injury. However, most fractures can be safely transferred home for care byyour local Kansas City orthopedic surgeon.

If you have a tibia fracture, ask the emergency room physician in ski country if it issafe to splint or cast for transfer home.