Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2010)
Skiing and Boarding Injuries on Norwegian Slopes during Two Winter Seasons
A central ski patrol-based registration of skiing and boarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons of 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. A total of 8149 injured skiers/boarders and 6.024 million skier/boarder days were recorded during the two seasons, giving an injury rate of 1.35 injured per 1000 skier/boarder days. Most of the injuries occurred during alpine skiing (64 %) and snowboarding (31 %), compared to telemark skiing (2 %) and skiboarding (3 %). Wrist injuries were common among injured snowboarders (25 %) compared to 4–6 % for the others (P<0.001). The knee was the main injury location in alpine skiers (25 %) compared to 21 % among skiboarders, 19 % among telemarkers, and only 8 % among snowboarders (P<0.001). The percentage of knee injuries in females (30 %) was almost twice as high as for males (16 %) (P<0.001), whereas shoulder injuries was twice as high in males (16 %) as in females (7 %) (P<0.001). As percent of all injuries injured snowboarders suffered more fractures (30 %) than skiboarders (27 %), alpine (22 %), and telemark skiers (18 %) (P<0.001), but fracture of the lower leg was uncommon among snowboarders (0.5 %) and telemarkers (0.6 %) compared to alpine skiers (6 %) and skiboarders (9 %) (P<0.001). Lower leg fractures accounted for 5 % of the injured alpine skiers 20 years and older, 3 % for adolescents aged 13–19 years compared to 12 % for children 12 years and younger (P<0.001). Nineteen percent of the skiers/boarders were injured in terrain parks. They suffered more fractures and back injuries than those injured at other locations (P<0.001). Fifty-seven percent of injured skiers/boarders used helmet, and they had a lower prevalence of head injuries (15.9 %) than those without helmet (18.2 %) (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. Injured skiers/boarders wearing a helmet had a lower prevalence of head injuries than those without helmet.