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Between 1972 and 1990 the authors evaluated prospectively 6671 injuries reported to the injury clinic operated in the base lodge of a moderate size northern Vermont ski area. During that time approximately 2 032 000 skier-visits occurred at the area. The overall injury rate decreased by 48% during the study. Lower leg injuries improved the most with an 83% reduction noted. Overall, the incidence of knee ligament injuries didn't change significantly. However, the incidence of minor to moderate injuries did diminish by 70% while severe knee sprains, usually involving the anterior cruciate ligament, increased very significantly (209%). In general, the incidence of upper body injuries did not change although upper body lacerations and thumb ulnar collateral ligament sprains improved by 55% and 59% respectively, while clavicular fractures increased in incidence significantly (176%).
ski injuries, epidemiology, knee injuries, injury rates
Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
President, Vermont Ski Safety Equipment, Inc., Underhill, VT
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY