As the winter season approaches so does the skiing season and with that comes a range of injuries. The most common injuries seen among skiers are knee sprains, specifically sprains or tears of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
The MCL attaches from the inside surface of the upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone and helps keep the inside portion of the knee joint stable.
The ACL is a vital ligament for a skier. It attaches between the femur (thigh) bone and tibia (shin) bone and holds the knee stable in an anterior-posterior direction.
MCL injuries in skiing occur with slow twisting falls where the direction of force is going from the outside of the knee to the inside or when beginners assume the “snowplough position” (see picture).
In this position you have to keep your legs turned inwards with your knees bent, to maintain your skis in a V point in front of you.
When in this position for lengthy periods a lot of stress is placed on the MCL and further strain is added as the snow plough width increases.