Avoiding a Cast and Crutches as Vacation Souvenirs

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Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery offers tips for preventing injuries on the slopes.

February is the last full month of winter and the month when ski areas enjoy their largest crowds of the season, particularly over Presidents’ Weekend and the week that follows. Unfortunately, skiers and snowboarders often bring home unwanted souvenirs such as casts, crutches, and broken bones from a slope-side accident that could have been prevented. The orthopaedic team at Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery(HVAS) offers simple advice to help people prepare for winter vacations in a way that helps lessen the chance of injuries.

“The evolution of equipment has changed the types of injuries we see most often,” says Dr. Wiener, an HVAS orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in Sports Medicine. “With new boot and ski designs and the popularity of snowboards, we see fewer broken legs but more torn knee ACLs and MCLs in skiers and broken wrists in snowboarders.”

Dr. Wiener points out that many ski resort injuries can be prevented with adequate preparation. He suggests incorporating daily exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles used in skiing, specifically, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors, beginning at least three weeks before a trip. Equipment also should be tuned up and checked for fit.

Skiers and snowboarders can take additional precautions during their trip. “To help prevent injury and increase performance, stretch leg and trunk muscles every morning and do a short warm-up to get blood flowing throughout the body,” suggests Dr. Wiener. “Skiers and snowboarders should know their ability level and avoid pushing themselves too far outside of their limits. Keep safety top of mind. And remember that stress and fatigue don’t mix well with snow sports.” At the end of the day, cool down with an easy last run or a short walk after taking off equipment, and remember to gently stretch muscles to help them relax.

In the event of an injury, Dr. Wiener suggests consulting with the ski patrol or slope-side medical office regarding its severity and appropriate treatment to prevent a minor issue such as a bruise, strain, or soreness from becoming a major one. A visit to the doctor may be in order for any injury that persists or becomes worse after several days.

Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Suite 225, Middletown, NY 10941. For additional information, please visit http://www.hudsonvalleyambsurg.com or call 845-692-9900.

About Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery:
Established in 2007 by a small group of surgeons, Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, provides state-of-the-art surgical care in a comfortable, friendly and professional setting. Operating exclusively as an independent same day surgical center, Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery specializes in ophthalmology, orthopaedics, head and neck/ENT, pain medicine, gynecology, general surgery, podiatry, cosmetic surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation services. The surgical center is comprised of 25 surgeons as well as nine anesthesiologists and four full-time nurses who see more than 3,100 patients each year. Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery offers surgeons and their patients unparalleled service, efficient and flexible scheduling, and the latest medical technology and equipment.

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Kimberly Sawicki
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