Skiing knee injuries are common to most veteran skiers. Even the best skiers strain or tear their knee ligaments as they twist, turn their knees, and fall. Skiing knee injuries are especially common in downhill skiers, because the force of their downward momentum can wrench knee joints more violently and cause structural damage. When a skier suffers an injury on the mountain, the debate is sometimes between receiving treatment at an unfamiliar treatment center or waiting until they are back home to seek treatment.
Orthopaedic doctors generally follow the RICE rule. The RICE rule is an easy to remember rudimentary treatment plan for all knee injuries—or any injury to any joint:
- Rest the joint
- Ice the joint
- Compress the swollen area around the joint
- Elevate the injured limb
All of these basic treatments are really the preliminary steps that should be immediately taken by an injured skier before physical therapy, surgery, etc. can be effective. Orthopaedic doctors tell their patients that they should administer the RICE rule as soon as possible. For this reason, if someone is injured on a ski slope, they should seek medical evaluation. Icing the joint, compression, and elevation are especially important when dealing with a knee injury for the simple fact that doctors can’t properly treat skiing knee injuries until the swelling goes down.
Orthopaedic doctors know what to look for and can make real-time decisions that could affect recovery time later in the healing process.