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Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is considered to be a serious injury in an alpine skiing career. Five Norwegian alpine and freestyle World Cup racers suffered ACL ruptures combined with other knee ligament injuries. Their median age was 25 years (19 to 26 years). Four of the racers were male and one female. All racers underwent surgery within three days of the injury. At a follow-up median of 23 months (15 to 28 months later), all had returned to ski racing. The sagittal knee laxity measured with KT-1000 during maximum manual tibial displacement disclosed a median difference of 3 mm (1 to 8 mm) between the involved and uninvolved knee. The World Cup ranking of the racers was median 7 (2 to 85) before the injury and median 13 (2 to 34) at follow-up.
In conclusion, World Cup ski racers may suffer relatively severe injuries, but racers at this level seem to regain their positions in World Cup competitions after treatment.
anterior cruciate ligament, athletic injuries, combined knee ligament injuries, knee fracture, skiing, skiing competition, skiing trauma, sports
Professor and chairman, Surgical Clinic, Ullevaal Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo,
Chief physiotherapist, The National Sports Center, Oslo,