Focusing on You: Ski Injuries at UHealth Sports Medicine Institute

3 min read  |  January 27, 2020  | 

Knee and shoulder injuries common among skiers of all levels

Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, discusses the prevention and treatment of ski-related injuries.


Narrator: Focusing On You, innovations in modern medicine from your team of experts at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Pam Giganti: Living here in the tropics you may not realize it but South Florida is home to one of the biggest snow skiing communities in the country and all that action on the slopes can lead to injuries.

Dr. Lee Kaplan: The care at most of the ski resorts is excellent from an orthopedic point of view, but then they want to come home so they come home and we start the process. They rarely had an MRI yet, we do that. We make a differentiation delineation if we are going to go ahead with physical therapy before surgery or if they even need surgery and then we give them their best option.

Pam Giganti: UHealth Sports Medicine Institute Director Dr. Lee Kaplan says, “Under the right set of conditions even experienced skiers are vulnerable to injury.”

Rafael Serrano: I was on a new set of skis, new boots hadn’t warmed up. First run of the day my leg twisted and I felt my ACL in my left knee snap.

Pam Giganti: Rafael Serrano was injured after following a friend down a black diamond run.

Rafael Serrano: The different people that I spoke to kept coming back to Dr. Kaplan’s name as the best guy in town.

Pam Giganti: As medical director and head team physician for the Miami Hurricanes and Miami Marlins, Dr. Kaplan sees a lot of knee and shoulder injuries also prevalent amongst skiers. The key to a quick recovery he says is building the muscles that support the joints like the quads, glutes, and core.

Dr. Lee Kaplan: With the physical therapists, we can not only get them over the knee injury, we can maximize their recovery and get them as fit as possible going into the next season. And then they may be better prepared than they even were pre-injury.

Pam Giganti: That summer, after surgery with Dr. Kaplan and rehab, Rafael gave his knee the ultimate test.

Rafael Serrano: I recently climbed, this summer that just passed, I climbed Kilimanjaro with my son, six days of hiking, five hour days, zero issue with the knee that had been operated on. In fact, it was stronger than the one that wasn’t.

Tags: ACL injury, Dr. Lee Kaplan, knee injury, Sports Medicine Institute

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