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Snow Sports Injuries and How to Prevent them | Dr. Grant Garcia

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

About Dr. Grant Garcia

Dr. Grant Garcia has advanced fellowship training in sports medicine and shoulder surgery. He is board certified in orthopedic surgery and has his subspecialty boards certification in sports medicine. He is interested in return to sports after shoulder, knee and elbow injuries and surgeries, consistent with his athletic background.

Dr. Garcia was an assistant team physician for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox. During residency, he also cared for players on the New York Giants, New York Mets, US Tennis Team, New York Rangers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets as well as many collegiate athletes. He has authored over 80 publications in prominent peer review journals including American Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. He has presented more than 60 academic sports papers worldwide, in addition to authoring book chapters on advanced techniques in Sports Medicine. He currently serves as an Assistant Editor for Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine and is a reviewer for Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and American Journal of Sports Medicine.

He is an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Specialist's of Seattle.

Common Snow Sports Injuries

The nature of snow sports can naturally lend itself to injury. Dr. Garcia primarily treats shoulder and knee injuries. Some injuries sustained in snow sports will require surgery and physical therapy while others may be managed non operatively with physical therapy and oversight from your doctor.

The common snow sports injuries include:

  • ACL Tears

  • Meniscus Tears

  • MCL sprain

  • LCL sprain

  • Concussion

  • Hamstring strain

Prevention Of Injuries

Unfortunately we can't prevent 100% of injuries but we can do some things to help reduce the risk and/or severity of an injury. Dr. Garcia recommends a few different ideas this snow season to help prevent injuries. We will list out the common sports and ways to prevent injuries with these activities.

Ski Injury Prevention

For knee injuries he recommends bracing the knee for those at higher risk of injury. Your physical therapist or orthopedic doctor can help you figure out if you should be wearing a brace this ski season.

Prehab: Make sure that you have adequate strength and endurance of the quads, hamstrings, and hips. Without adequate strength you put yourself at increased risk of several types of injury.

Hockey Injury Prevention

Dr. Garcia sees many hamstring injuries with skating. We recommend you see a physical therapist with a good understanding of sports medicine to ensure you have the right mobility and strength routine to reduce your risk of injury while playing hockey. Well fitted protective equipment is also extremely important for safety with hockey.

Snowmobile Injury Prevention

Dr. Garcia recommends that you learn to ride correctly and know your machine. It is important to understand safe operation of the vehicle as an accident on the mountain can have major consequences. Keep those limbs inside of the vehicle to avoid an unnecessary injuries! Always wear a helmet. Concussions are nothing to mess with. Dr. Garcia recommends head protection for all snow sports.

Tubing Injury Prevention

Although there is a lower risk of injury with snow tubing, you should make sure that you are on a safe slope for tubing and are clear of obstacles. We have seen impact injuries from hitting trees, roots, and tree wells from tubing. As always, make sure to wear a helmet!

If you would like to work with Dr. Garcia check out his website!

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