Snowboarding Injuries and Prevention Tips

When US Olympian Shaun White won his third gold medal in the men’s halfpipe run during the 2018 Winter Olympics, fans worldwide cheered at the stunning theatrics of the snowboarder. His skill and agility is inspiring, and many amateur snowboarders will take to their boards and try their own techniques. Snowboarding continues to grow in popularity, but people should be aware of the injury risk it poses, particularly for the foot and ankle.

Naven Duggal, MD, a Foot & Ankle Specialist with Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) published an article in The American Journal of Orthopedics in 2015, “Lower Extremity Injuries in Snowboarders,” which discussed the prevalence of snowboarding injuries in the ankle, foot and knee, and how they differ from those of ski injuries. It also addresses factors leading to snowboarding injuries, including equipment.

Dr. Duggal compared the difference from ski injuries, noting contributing factors such as snowboarders on average are younger and more prone to taking risks; more challenging slopes allow for greater speed while going down; and a lack of appropriate footwear, among others.

As more people take up snowboarding, maybe inspired by White and other Olympians, Dr. Duggal offers these tips for prevention of snowboard, and ski injuries:
• Always wear a helmet.
• Wear appropriate footwear while snowboarding – stiffer boots offer greater protection than soft-shelled boots.
• Avoid taking extreme risks – participate at your skill level.
• Stretch before hitting the slopes.

If injuries occur during snowboarding, SOS PLUS After Hours Care is available. SOS PLUS is a walk-in orthopedic medical clinic that treats patients of all ages with acute orthopedic conditions requiring immediate attention. SOS Plus has two locations to best serve patients, at 5719 Widewaters Parkway in Dewitt and 5000 West Seneca Turnpike in Onondaga Hill. Hours for both locations are weekdays 5 pm – 8:30 pm, and weekends 10 am – 2 pm. For more information, call 315-883-5652 or visit

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