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While the overall skiing injury rate has decreased dramatically over the past decade or so, the greatest reduction has taken place with respect to tibial shaft and ankle injuries. Torsional injuries of the tibia have decreased by 85 to 90% from its previous value. Bending fractures of the tibia have only been reduced by about 60 to 65% from its previous value. In fact, bending fractures are now more common than twisting fractures. In this report, a series of five bending fractures are examined. In each case, the binding release values were set in accordance with recommended values. In each case, the binding failed to release. When the boots were tested in the manner of International Committee for Safety in Skiing (IAS) Ski Shoes for Adults, Size 36 and Larger (150) for forward flex, the boots were found to allow forward flex well in excess of the 40° to 45° value in the IAS 150 specification. This report suggests that the failure of the boot to act as a transmission device to transmit the load from the skier to the binding may be a major factor in bending fractures of the tibia. Recommendations are made with respect to variables that an appropriate standard or specification should consider.
athletic injuries, ski injuries, tibial shaft fractures, bending fractures, boot specifications, boot related fractures, in-boot fractures
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
President, Vermont Ski Safety Equipment, Underhill, VT