Figure Skating Injuries

Figure skating requires a unique combination of strength, flexibility and balance. These physical demands can lead to a range of overuse and traumatic injuries. The sports medicine specialists at Henry Ford Health care for common and complex injuries in competitive and amateur skaters.

Figure skating injury causes

Many figure skating injuries are the result of overtraining. Competitive skaters train for hours each day, sometimes twice a day. The competitive “season” also spans a full 12 months, so there’s little room for rest and recovery.

Both singles and pairs skaters do extensive spinning, jumping and landing. These movements put a great deal of stress on the ankles and knees. The flexibility needed for various stunts can also cause problems in the hips and low back.

Skating at high speeds and performing lifts and throws can put skaters at risk for traumatic injuries. Falls can lead to contusions, concussions or broken bones.

Common ice skating and figure skating injuries we treat

Our sports medicine specialists treat a range of figure skating injuries, including:

  • Achilles or patellar tendinitis
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus tears
  • Lace bite (pain at the front of your ankle from stiff skate tongues)
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
  • Spondylolysis (stress fractures in the spine) and stress fractures in the legs and feet

Figure skating injury treatment

We use a variety of techniques to care for ice skating injuries. It’s important for injured skaters to get off the ice and focus on dryland training as they heal. Our experts may recommend:

  • Strength and conditioning: We help you improve strength on the side of your body that you don’t use for jumping and landing. Good muscle balance takes stress off overworked joints.
  • Laser therapy: Tendon and ligament injuries may benefit from laser therapy. Light energy stimulates tissue repair. This therapy is painless and done on the surface of the skin without the use of needles.
  • Nutrition consultations: Figure skaters are more prone to injuries if they’re not consuming enough calories or nutrients. Your sports medicine physician can connect you with an experienced dietitian who can help you plan meals that optimize your strength and performance.

We can treat most ice skating injuries without surgery. If you do need surgery due to a fracture or torn tissue, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in the latest minimally invasive techniques. These procedures help you recover faster and with less pain.

Figure skating injury prevention

Try these tips to reduce your risk of injuries:

  • Limit the number of jumps and landings per training session.
  • Make sure your skates and blades fit correctly.
  • Vary your training sessions with dryland workouts.
  • Eat nutritious, balanced meals that meet your daily caloric needs.
  • Take rest periods and do not skate through pain.

Figure skating injury care: Why choose Henry Ford?

At our sports medicine program, you’ll find:

  • Trusted providers: Several of our physicians are preferred providers for U.S. Figure Skating. Our physicians and certified athletic trainers also care for figure skating teams at many area high schools, colleges and universities. You receive care from experienced specialists who understand your sport and its injury risks.
  • Minimally invasive treatment options: From Tenex procedures to treat Achilles and Patellar tendons to plasma-rich protein (PRP) injections to treat knee injuries there are options available to reduce procedure time, hasten recovery and increase potential for improved outcomes.
  • Convenient access: Most providers can see you within 24 to 48 hours, so you receive prompt care for your injury. We offer in-person and virtual appointments. Henry Ford also features walk-in orthopedic clinics with extended evening hours to fit your busy schedule.
  • Complete care: Our care goes beyond healing your injury. We evaluate all aspects of your physical and mental health to build a comprehensive treatment plan. When you’re ready to safely return to the ice, we provide strategies to optimize performance and reduce the risk of re-injury.

Request an appointment

Request an appointment or learn more about our sports medicine services. We offer in-person and virtual visits.

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Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.


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