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Episode Info:

On today’s episode, I get to chat with Dr. Tom Hackett. Tom started out as a member of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol before becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon. He took an interest in not just fixing injuries, but trying to understand why injuries happen. This is what lead him to his success as a Doctor and he now serves as the Orthopedic Surgeon for the US Ski Team, among other notable patients.

During our discussion, we get into the meat of why we hurt ourselves and the group of muscles we must strengthen in order to prevent a serious, but common injury. Tune in to hear about Dr. Hackett’s fascinating life and his professional endeavors as an Orthopedic Surgeon.


[2:50] Tom loves to operate, but he is more interested in what we can do to prevent injuries.

[03:15] He was on the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol in the late 80’s through the early 90’s.

[05:24] With more extreme tricks, comes greater risk for injury.

[08:20] The Japanese Ski Team has a safety device, which isn’t available to other athletes from different nations

[10:29] Right now, Tom is focusing on the hip.

[10:44] Some of the hip abductors are key to protecting the knee.

[11:05] To protect your knee, you need to strengthen your hip.

[11:20] Beginner snowboarders almost always hurt their wrists, whereas experts always have knee injuries.

[14:54] There is a group of hip muscles for which you can do exercises. Anything that works your hips and glutes is key to protecting your knee from injury.

[17:20] Tom likes to tell young, enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders to slow down and to be conscious of potential risk.

[20:36] Tom sees people whose skis didn’t release and rarely sees injury to people whose skis release easily.

[24:00] Tom discusses the allure and subsequent risk of terrain parks.

[24:38] Tom has found that the severity of injuries is inversely proportional to snowfall.


“These are winter sports, there’s always some time of adverse conditions.” -Dr. Tom Hackett

“You need your quad muscles for performance, and stamina, and driving your ski; but you’ve gotta have the hip strong, as well…” -Dr. Tom Hackett

“If you stay on the ground, you have a much higher chance of staying upright.” -Dr. Tom Hackett



Wagner Custom Skis

Dr. Hackett’s Website


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