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To ensure the maximum level of safety for alpine skiers, conditions and factors that predispose to injury need to be identified. This study surveyed potential risk factors for injury in a closed population of skiers using well-defined criteria for injury. Thirteen percent of those skiers answering the survey sustained an injury. The injury rate was 24 per 1000 skier days. Most injuries occurred on the first day of skiing. Icy conditions and fatigue appeared to predispose skiers to injury. The shoulder and knee were the most common anatomical sites of injury. Factors such as age, sex, level of ability, and conditioning, which have been implicated in previous studies as risk factors for injury in alpine skiing, did not appear to predispose the skier to injury in this controlled study.
alpine skiing injuries, epidemiology, injury risk, injury rate
Orthropedic surgeon, Sports Medicine Center at Mease Clinic, Safety Harbor, FL
Orthropedic surgeon, Atlanta Sports Medicine, Atlanta, GA