Volume 3, Issue 8 (September 2006)
Injuries in Norwegian Ski Resorts 2002 – 2004
A central ski patrol-based registration of skiing and boarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. Totals of 7252 injured skiers/boarders and 4.884 million skier/boarder days were recorded during the two seasons, giving an injury rate of 1.5 injured per 1000 skier/boarder days. Most of the injuries occurred during alpine skiing (49 %) and snowboarding (43 %), whereas telemark skiing and skiboarding each accounted for 4 % of the injuries. Wrist injuries were common among injured snowboarders (28 %) compared to only 6 % for skiboarders and 4 % each for alpine and telemark skiers (P<0.001). The knee was the main injury location in alpine skiers (25 %) compared to 19 % among skiboarders, 12 % among telemarkers, and only 7 % among snowboarders (P<0.001), but the percentage of knee injuries was almost twice as high for females compared to males, both in skiers and snowboarders (P<0.001). As percent of all injuries, injured snowboarders suffered more fractures (35 %) than skiboarders (30 %), telemark (24 %) and alpine skiers (22 %) (P<0.001), but fracture of the lower leg was uncommon among snowboarders (1 %) and telemarkers (2 %) compared to alpine skiers (7 %) and skiboarders (15 %) (P<0.001). Lower leg fractures accounted for 4 % of the injured alpine skiers 20 years and older and adolescents aged 13–19 years compared to 15 % for children 12 years and younger (P<0.001). Nineteen percent of the skiers/boarders were injured in snowboarder parks, and these injuries were more severe than those occurring at other locations. In conclusion, injured alpine skiers were most prone to knee injuries, and skiboarders to lower leg fractures. This fracture was still a common injury for children in these two disciplines. Injured snowboarders were most prone to suffer wrist injuries. The percentage of knee injuries among females was almost twice that of males both in skiers and snowboarders. Injuries sustained in snowboarder parks were more severe than other injuries on the slope.