Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2010)
Are ACL Injuries Related to Perceived Fatigue in Female Skiers?
In alpine skiing, knee injuries show marked sex differences, as female recreational skiers have a twofold greater incidence of knee injuries and a threefold higher anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk than male skiers. General preventive recommendations to reduce the incidence of ski injuries include avoiding fatigue. However, no study has yet examined to which extent ACL injuries in female recreational skiers are related to perceived fatigue. Therefore, 68 ACL injured female skiers and 136 matched controls were interviewed about skiing time and perception of fatigue in legs and the whole body at the time point of accident and questioning, respectively. In addition, skiing ability, self estimated fitness level, quantity and quality of breaks per run, sleeping quality, and group skiing and skill level of group members have been recorded. Patients and controls differ significantly regarding the duration of skiing as about 81 % of ACL injuries occurred within the first 3 h (odds ratio=4.4; P<0.001). In patients about 71 % and in controls about 27 % felt no fatigue or a trace of fatigue in their legs at the time of injury and questioning, respectively (P<0.001) . No other factors showed a significant difference. Therefore, fatigue seems no major risk factor for an ACL injury in female recreational skiing.