33.42 - Orthopedic Management of the Downhill Skier

Course Description

This monograph discusses downhill skiing as it relates to physical therapy. An explanation of common downhill skiing principles is followed by a description of downhill skiing biomechanics, muscle activity, and the epidemiology of injury. Common traumatic and overuse musculoskeletal injuries that occur while skiing are discussed with evidence-based clinical knowledge and anecdotal pearls incorporated for physical therapist management. Non-operative and post-operative injury management is discussed, including guidelines for returning to sport post-injury. In addition, the reader will be able to use physical therapy and fitness considerations to safely, and successfully, guide patients or clients in a pre-skiing conditioning program. To conclude the monograph, 4 intriguing case reports are presented. Each case highlights clinical reasoning. The first case involves a 15-year-old female who injured her knee while ski racing recreationally. The second case describes a 54-year-old male who acutely strained a calf muscle on the mountain. The third case details the comparison between two 27-year-old females who experienced anterior cruciate ligament rupture in the same week. The fourth case discusses a 64-year-old male ski instructor who experienced low back pain exacerbation while instructing a private lesson.

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

Orthopedic Management of the Downhill Skier

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Course Objectives

  1. Understand alpine skiing equipment to assist the patient in appropriately selecting and customizing rehabilitation for injury recovery and reinjury prevention.
  2. Critique downhill skiing form and determine biomechanical changes and equipment modification to improve form.
  3. Advise on risk management to prevent downhill skiing injuries.
  4. Recognize commonly encountered injuries associated with skiing.
  5. Describe acute management of patients with common alpine skiing-related traumatic injuries.
  6. Identify and describe musculoskeletal overuse injuries of alpine skiers.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of return to sport/work testing and development of an appropriate return to skiing program post-injury.
  8. Implement an injury-prevention ski conditioning program.

Topics and Authors

Kate Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS; James Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS