SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1999

Alpine Skiing and Spinal Cord Injuries: View From a National Database


Objectives: This study was designed to compare the demographic backgrounds and health care experiences of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) injured as a consequence of skiing with three other groups: those injured in other winter sports; those injured in other sports, and those injured as a result of other causes. Methods: Data are derived from the U.S. National Collaborative SCI Database, which includes cross-sectional and some longitudinal data on more than 22 000 people with SCIs who have received acute hospital and rehabilitation care at 21 National Model SCI Systems throughout the United States since 1973. Results: In general, those who sustain their SCIs skiing are more likely to be white, somewhat better educated, though younger than their counterparts. They have fewer acute hospital days and lower acute and rehabilitation care costs. They also report fewer in-patient pressure sores. There are considerable differences between those whose injuries are the result of skiing and those whose are the result of other kinds of sports. Conclusion: Data suggest that those with ski- related SCIs have more favorable prospects of rehabilitation.

Author Information

Meyers, AR
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Misra, B
College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 150–157
DOI: 10.1520/STP12365S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5398-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2612-1