Volume 5, Issue 6 (June 2008)
Injury Trends in Norwegian Ski Resorts in the 10 Year Period 1996–2006
A central ski patrol-based registration of skiing and boarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons 1996/1997–2005/2006. Totals of 31 175 injured skiers/boarders and 21.898 million skier/boarder days were recorded during the ten seasons, giving an injury rate of 1.4 injured per 1000 skier/boarder days. Most of the injuries occurred during alpine skiing (49–58 %). Snowboarding injuries peaked with 45 % in the middle of the period decreasing to 35 % the last two seasons. Telemark skiing and skiboarding each accounted for less than 10 % of the injuries. Wrist injuries were most common among injured snowboarders and knee injuries among injured alpine skiers. The percentage of knee injuries was almost twice as high for females compared to males throughout the period (p<0.001). The prevalence of lower leg fracture for injured alpine skiers ⩽12 years decreased from 20 % to 13 % in the period (p<0.001), whereas the corresponding prevalence for teenagers and adults was relatively stable at 3–5 %. Injuries in terrain parks increased to 20 % of all injuries at the end of the period. The use of helmets among injured skiers/boarders increased from 11 % to 44 % in the 10-year period (p<0.001), whereas the prevalence of head injuries decreased from 19 % to 17 % (p<0.003). In conclusion, the injury rate has been almost constant during the last six seasons in Norwegian ski resorts. The prevalence of lower leg fracture has decreased in injured alpine skiers ⩽12 years. The use of protective helmet has increased by injured skiers/boarders and the prevalence of head injuries has decreased.