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A three year nonrandomized clinical study was instituted to ascertain the pattern of injuries sustained by participants of snowboarding.
A total of 874 questionnaires, representing 937 injuries, were collected over the 1988 to 1989, 1989 to 1990 and 1990 to 1991 ski seasons with assistance of 37 physicians who saw patients from seven major Colorado ski areas.
The frequency of lower extremity injuries compared to upper extremity injuries was similar. The difference between lower extremity and upper extremity injuries was not significant by contingency table analysis (P > 0.05). However, 19% of all injuries and 45% of all upper extremity injuries were distal radius fractures. With the exception of the medial collateral ligament (MCL), there were few significant knee ligament or thumb injuries, but a disturbing number of tibia fractures, ankle fractures and ankle sprains, reminiscent of alpine ski injuries prior to the advent of the modern rigid boot .
Snowboarding participants appear to suffer different injuries than alpine skiers and possible preventative measures are discussed.
snowboard, injury, fractures, lateral talus fracture
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vail Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Vail, Colorado
Emergency Medical Technician, Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail, Colorado