Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 2009)
Ski Bindings and Lower Leg Injuries, A Case Control Study in Flaine, 2006
There has been much discussion in recent years regarding appropriate settings for release bindings in Alpine skiing. The authors take into account the fact that current recommended release criteria are based on midshaft tibia bone strength. The hypothesis of this work is to look at a link between binding release values and all lower limb injuries. Additionally, there is a proposal regarding the possibility of reducing injuries to the ligaments in the knee through modification of binding release value standards. Knee injuries including rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament remain a major risk for skiers and for women in particular. In July, 2000, the French standards group, AFNOR, recommended a modification to the ISO 11088 standard for release settings specifically designed to reduce binding release values particularly for women and for individuals with body weight less than 55 kg. The objective of this study is to measure the influence of binding release values on lower leg injuries, in particular for women. A case-control study at Flaine ski resort in 2006 was conducted to determine whether there is proof of causation between ski binding release values and lower leg injuries sustained on the ski slopes. Release torque values were measured for injured (n=129) and control (n=339) groups. The measurements were made for Alpine skiers by using standard measurement devices. Comparisons between recommended release settings based on AFNOR FD S 52-748 compared to actual release levels as a function of fall mechanism speed, type of release, type of ski, and self-reported experience level were analyzed statistically. There is a statistical link between AFNOR standard ski binding release values and injuries of lower limbs. We believe it is important to introduce a gender parameter in ISO binding release value tables to reduce the release values for women.