(Received 31 October 2011; accepted 31 January 2012)
Published Online: 2012
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A central ski-patrol-based registration of skiing and boarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 as part of an ongoing study since 1996. Totals of 8547 injured skiers/boarders and 6.621 × 106 s of skier/boarder days were recorded during the two seasons, giving an injury rate of 1.29 injured per 1000 skier/boarder days. Most of the injuries occurred during alpine skiing (67 %) and snowboarding (29 %), compared to telemark skiing (2 %), and skiboarding (2 %). Wrist injuries were common among injured snowboarders (22 %) compared to 1–6 % for the others (P < 0.001). The knee was the main injury location in alpine skiers (24 %) compared to only 8 % among snowboarders (P < 0.001). The prevalence of knee injuries for females (31 %) was twice as high as for males (15 %) (P < 0.001), whereas shoulder injuries was more than twice as high for males (18 %) as for females (7 %) (P < 0.001). These gender differences were observed in all four skiing/boarding ability groups. Snowboarders suffered more fractures (29 %) than the others, but fracture of the lower leg was uncommon among snowboarders (0.5 %) compared to alpine skiers (7 %) (P < 0.001). Lower leg fractures accounted for 4 % of the injured alpine skiers 20 years and older, and 5 % for adolescents aged 13–19 years compared to 14 % for children 12 years and younger (P < 0.001). In contrast, the prevalence of dislocations and injuries needing ambulance transport increased with increasing age. Twenty-two percent of the skiers/boarders were injured in terrain parks. They had a higher ability, but suffered more fractures and back injuries than those injured at other locations (P < 0.001). Injured experts suffered more injuries in terrain parks and during collisions, and needed more ambulance transport and admission to physicians and hospitals than injured beginners (P < 0.002). The use of protective helmets among injured skiers/boarders has increased from 11 % to 70 % in the period 1996–2010, but the prevalence of head injuries has only dropped from 19 % to 16 % in the same period (P < 0.001). In conclusion, injured alpine skiers were most prone to knee injuries, and snowboarders to wrist injuries. The prevalence of knee injuries among females was twice that of males, whereas the reverse was observed for shoulder injuries. This gender difference was observed in all four ability groups. Injured experts suffered more serious injuries than injured beginners.
Director and Chief Surgeon, Martina Hansens Hospital, Bærum,
Secretary General, Norwegian Ski Lift Association, Bygdøy alléOslo,
Stock #: JAI104496