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Ligament damage warning for novice skiers

26 January 2009 11:47

Ligament damage warning for novice skiers

The skiing season is in full swing with a booming trend in short breaks on the slopes, but millions of Britons are suffering knee injuries as a result, according to one expert.

Steve Bollen, president of the British Orthopaedic Sports Trauma Association, has commented on the link between an increase in knee complaints and the rise in the number of ski trips abroad, blaming poor fitness for the surge in injuries.

He claims that the number of injuries to ligaments in the knee, which can cause irreparable damage if left untreated, is increasing as people are heading to the slopes ill-prepared for physical demands.

"Skiing is a strange sport which requires no intrinsic strength or skill - anyone can walk into a ski hire shop and hire the kit," he told the BBC.

"Then they set off down the hill, and if anything goes wrong they may not have the strength or fitness to do anything about it."

Experts warn that not only should skiers prepare their legs and bodies for the assault on the slopes with training and some exercise beforehand, but that they also make sure they are fully covered with winter sports travel insurance to make sure they have financial protection should anything go wrong.