Winter Sports Injuries: What to Watch Out For

Feb 14, 2022

Winter is here. And as we go out to have fun in the colder weather with activities like snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, or sledding, we need to be aware of the possible injuries that can occur. In this post, we will cover the most common winter sports injuries you need to watch out for.

What are some common winter sports foot and ankle injuries?

Here are some of the most common injuries to feet and ankles from winter sports and other winter-related activities

  • Frostbite – One of the most dangerous if not caught quick enough, frostbite is tissue and cell damage that happens when your toes, feet, and other extremities are exposed to prolonged cold/freezing weather. 
  • Foot and Ankle Sprains happen when the ligaments between the bones stretch and tear.
  • Foot and Ankle Strains, on the other hand (or foot), occur when the tendons and muscles in your feet stretch and tear.
  • Blisters form from friction and are little pockets under the skin filled with a clear liquid. 
  • Bone Fractures are cracks or breaks in the bone. 
  • Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection that occurs from sweaty and bundled-up feet.
  • Chilblains are inflammation of the small blood vessels in the foot that is caused by exposing your feet to cold weather.

What are the symptoms?

Now that we’ve covered the most common winter feet injuries, let’s go over the symptoms of each.

Frostbite symptoms include:

  • Feelings of itchiness, stinging, burning, or prickly “pins and needles”
  • Skin changes color (pale white or yellow in early stages/black or blue for advanced stages)
  • Hard Skin
  • Skin looks waxy or shiny
  • Pain when your feet are thawing out
  • Blisters

Foot and ankle sprains/strains symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Bruises around the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Unable to apply pressure to the area
  • Limping

Feet blister symptoms include:

  • Raised lump/bump filled with liquid
  • Pain or itchiness
  • Redness

Bone fracture symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformities such as protruding bone
  • Difficult walking and putting weight on the foot

Athlete’s foot symptoms include:

  • Itchiness, burning, or stinging sensation
  • Scaly-looking skin between toes that crack and peels
  • Inflamed skin with discoloration (purplish, reddish, or grayish)
  • Dry skin
  • Blisters

Chilblains symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Small and itchy red areas on your skin
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin ulcers or blisters

What can you do to prevent injuries and issues during winter sports?

The best way to avoid these problems is to take preventative measures. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for winter sports and other winter-related activities.

  • Keep an eye out for frostbite. It doesn’t take long to set in and can cause permanent damage.
  • Don’t rush into any sports if you aren’t properly conditioned. The cold weather makes you more prone to feet and ankle sprains and strains. And don’t forget your stretches
  • Wear proper attire; ski boots and skates need to be in a good condition and fit well to your feet. Footwear should have plenty of room for your toes, be nicely cushioned, and have enough support for your ankles

When should you seek professional treatment?

The experts at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma are here to ensure you get the absolute best care for your winter sports injuries. That means offering effective conservative treatment options, as well as some of the most advanced surgeries for those that need them. And it also means putting your needs first and helping you sort through your options in order to make the best choice for your personal situation.

To schedule an appointment with us at our offices in either Oklahoma City or Harrah, please call (405) 418-2676, or contact us online.

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Oklahoma City Office:
609 W Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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