Volume 5, Issue 6 (June 2008)
Injuries in Norwegian Ski Resorts the Winter Seasons of 2005 and 2006
A central ski patrol-based registration of skiing and boarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons 2004/2005 and 2005/2006. Totals of 8130 injured skiers/boarders and 5.466 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 (58 %) and snowboarding (35 %), compared to telemark skiing (3 %) and skiboarding (4 %). Wrist injuries were common among injured snowboarders (26 %) compared to only 5 % each for the others (P<0.001). The knee was the main injury location in alpine skiers (24 %) compared to 23 % among skiboarders, 14 % among telemarkers and only 7 % among snowboarders (P<0.001). The percentage of knee injuries in females (28 %) was almost twice as high as for males (P<0.001), whereas shoulder injuries were twice as high in males (17 %) as in females (8 %) (P<0.001). As a percentage of all injuries, skiboarders suffered more fractures (34 %) than snowboarders (33 %), telemarkers (26 %), and alpine skiers (22 %) (P<0.001), but fracture of the lower leg was uncommon among snowboarders (1 %) and telemarkers (3 %) compared to alpine skiers (6 %) and skiboarders (13 %) (P<0.001). Lower leg fractures accounted for 4 % of the injured alpine skiers 20 years and older, 3 % for adolescents aged 13 – 19 years compared to 13 % for children 12 years and younger (P<0.001). Twenty percent of the skiers/boarders were injured in terrain parks. They suffered more fractures, head, and back injuries than those injured on groomed slopes (P<0.01). 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 prevalence of knee injuries among females was almost twice that of males, whereas the reverse was observed for shoulder injuries.