SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

Injuries in Alpine Skiers, Telemarkers and Snowboarders at Norwegian Ski Resorts


A central ski patrol-based registration of skiing and snowboarding injuries was performed by the Norwegian Ski Lift Association during the winter seasons 1998/1999 and 1999/2000.

Totals of 562 injured skiers and 41582 000 lift transports were recorded during the two seasons, giving an injury rate of 1.3 injured skier per 1000 skier days or per 10 000 lift transports. Most of the injuries occurred during alpine skiing (51%) and snowboarding (40%), whereas telemark skiing accounted for 9% of the injuries. Wrist injuries were common among injured snowboarders (27%) compared to only 4% for alpine and 3% for telemark skiers (P < 0.001). Snowboarders also suffered more arm injuries (12%) than alpine skiers (5%) and telemarkers (4%) (P < 0.001). In contrast injured telemark skiers had a higher percentage of hand injuries (14%) than alpine skiers (9%) and snowboarders (6%) (P < 0.001). The knee was the main injury location in alpine skiers (28%) compared to 13% among telemarkers and only 6% among snowboarders (P < 0.001), but the percentage of knee injuries was almost twice as high for females compared to males in all three disciplines (P < 0.001).

As percent of all injuries injured snowboarders suffered more fractures (34%) than alpine (20%) and telemark skiers (18%) (P < 0.001), but fractures of the lower leg were uncommon among snowboarders (1%) and telemarkers (2%) compared to alpine skiers (7%) (P < 0.001). Lower leg fractures accounted for 3.5% of the injured alpine skiers 20 years and older compared to 5% for adolescents aged 13 – 19 years and 17% for skiers 12 years and younger (P < 0.001).

In conclusion, injured alpine skiers were most prone to knee injuries, and lower leg fractures were still a common injury in children. Injured snowboarders were most prone to suffer wrist injuries and injured telemark skiers hand injuries. The percentage of knee injuries among females was almost twice that of males in all three disciplines.

Author Information

Ekeland, A
Martina Hansens Hospital, Bærum, Norway
Rødven, A
Norwegian Ski Lift Association, Oslo, Norway
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 97–104
DOI: 10.1520/STP10963S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5484-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3462-1