33.41 - Orthopaedic Management of the Cross-Country Skier

Course Description

This monograph discusses the technique and injury management of the cross country (XC) skier. Primary XC skiing techniques and sub-techniques are reviewed in detail with video supplements for better understanding. Biomechanics are discussed for classic and skate sub-techniques. Common injuries, along with risk factors, are reviewed. Injury evaluation and treatment considerations specific to the XC skier are covered, with exercise recommendations, loading progression considerations, and a return-to-sport guideline for skiers of all abilities. Finally, medical race coverage recommendations are discussed for those providing on-site support. Four case studies related to common injuries seen in the XC skier population are presented. Each case outlines the skier's presentation, objective findings, management, and outcomes. The first case involves a 79-year-old female presenting to physical therapy with a concussion after a fall while XC skiing downhill at approximately 20 mph. The second case describes an 18-year-old competitive male skier referred to physical therapy for post-operative management of a Stener lesion and ulnar collateral ligament tear after a fall onto his hand while XC skiing. The third case outlines the management of a 12-year-old female XC skier presenting with anterior knee pain during off-season training, most significantly with running and roller-skiing. The final case summarizes a 17-year-old XC skier's plan of care before and after the surgical release of bilateral, lower leg anterior and lateral compartments due to compartment syndrome.

Course Overview

Course Format: Online

Contact Hours: 5 contact hours

State Approval: AOPT courses are accepted in all states plus the District of Columbia, as allowed by the type of course requirements in state regulations. A small number of states require APTA to seek pre-approval of courses. The approval codes for these states can be found here. Always check with your State Licensing Board to confirm contact hours offered.

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Orthopaedic Management of the Cross-Country Skier

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Online Only
AOPT Member $50
Non-AOPT Member $65

Course Objectives

  1. Describe the biomechanics of classical and skate ski techniques and sub-techniques.
  2. Identify differences between skiers using beginner technique versus advanced technique.
  3. Understand the relevance of video analysis in examining and managing skiers using classic and skate sub-techniques.
  4. Identify common pathologies seen in cross country ski athletes.
  5. Apply recommended management strategies specific to the injured cross country skier.
  6. Describe cross country ski gear and implications for symptoms or pathology.
  7. Create an exercise program for a skier, integrating exercises to mimic the desired cross country ski sub-technique skill.
  8. Evaluate training history, consider the skier’s future training or recreational skiing goals, and implement a safe return to snow program.
  9. Define key considerations for coverage of cross country ski events in the field.

Topics and Authors

Anastasia Robinson, PT, DPT, OCS; Karen Schleper, PT, DPT, OCS; Andrew Newell