Injuries to the knee joint account for around one third of all skiing injuries, so even if you are an ‘old hand’ at skiing or snowboarding, it’s worth seeking advice from a physiotherapist before you hit the slopes to ensure your ski fitness preparation is worthwhile. The most common knee injury involves a sprain to the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). Improvements to ski boots & bindings have improved protection to the ankle and shin but throw more stress to the knee area. So, although the percentage of knee injuries has remained fairly constant in recent years, knee ligament ruptures are becoming increasingly common, especially to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). During the acute stage (48-72 hours after the injury), it’s very difficult to say which ligament(s) might be affected because of the swelling in the knee area. Cooling, supporting and resting the joint is important in these early stages. Ice packs applied regularly over the first few days, along with simple pain killers (eg: paracetamol or ibuprofen, if tolerated) can help ease swelling and reduce pain. In the longer term, help from a physiotherapist will assist with improved mobility and aid speedier healing.