While skiers are more likely to injure their knees, snowboarders ride with both feet fixed to the board – ACL and MCL damage isn’t as common in this case. However, snowboarders do suffer fractures nearly twice as much as skiers do. These occur mostly in the wrist as a result from stretching out one’s hands while falling.
The severity of a wrist fracture is determined by many factors and includes injuries in which:
- The bones have been pushed out of position (displaced)
- The bones have been pushed through the skin (open or compound)
- The break goes through the line of the wrist joint (intra-articular)
- The wrist has been broken into several fragments (comminuted)
These different types of breaks can occur in combination with one another, which also influences the severity of damage, treatment regimen, and recovery time.
Beginner snowboarders are at the greatest risk of wrist injury. The ability to maintain a stable stance is not easy and is learned over time. Because snowboarders cannot simply step out of the binding if they begin to fall, it takes longer to break the instinct to outstretch a hand to break a fall. Learning to fall properly is one of the simplest ways to try to reduce the risk of injury.
Take extra precautions while snowboarding at a busy time, always keep an eye out for other riders, and only snowboard on marked paths. While not required, wrist guards are a smart item to add to your snowboarding gear.
Reference: Ski-Injury.com, Wrist Injuries in Snowboarding”. http://www.ski-injury.com/specific-injuries/wrist