The thrill of skiing is in the speed, the adrenalin rush and the extraordinary beauty of the mountains. If you're like me (not an advanced skier) there's always the nagging thought of injury as you're cruising down the slope. As you might expect, knee injuries are the most common injuries because of the simple  mechanics of the sport. Knee injuries account for 25% of all skiing injuries. Because your feet and ankles are somewhat locked into your skis the knee takes most of the stress when your ski is torqued. Skiing knee injuries range from meniscus tears to ACL/MCL tears to complete dislocations. Here's a few tips that would indicate that you have a severe knee injury:
  • There's a clear deformity of the knee
  • Severe swelling in the knee
  • You can't fully straighten the knee
  • The knee is very tender in injured area
  • The knee is unable to bear any weight
Note: If you have these symptoms apply cold therapy and get to the doctor right away Returning to skiing after a knee injury can be very stressful because the tendency is to think about the injury rather than concentrating on the proper skiing techniques. Most skiers returning from knee injuries opt for a quality hinged knee brace which provides the highest level of protection against twisting and lateral movements of the knee. The most popular hinged knee braces for skiers are made of Neoprene. Neoprene is good choice because it molds to the shape of the knee and retains heat to keep the knee joint warm. When you purchase a hinged knee brace make sure it has a quality hinge that will provide a full range of movement. Another important component of a good hinged knee brace is a patella buttress. A patella buttress is a horseshoe or circular padding that surrounds the knee cap (patella) and keeps it in place when skiing. The two most popular hinged knee braces for skiing are the McDavid PS II and the Mueller Hg80. The McDavid PS II is lightweight, low profile  hinged knee brace that uses state of the art lightweight materials and design including aircraft grade aluminum gears that accommodate the natural gliding action of the knee. The Mueller Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace is a high performance knee brace offering excellent support without compromising comfort. It features a triaxel hinge which provide maximum support with near-normal knee motion.
[caption id="attachment_1866" align="aligncenter" width="217"]McDavid PS II Hinged Knee Brace McDavid PS II Hinged Knee Brace[/caption] 54010_knee_1 Mueller Hg80
The bottom line is that you should spend a few extra bucks and get a quality hinged knee brace that will stand up to all kinds of skiing conditions. Have a safe and enjoyable ski vacation this winter !

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