Injuries among male and female World Cup alpine skiers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBritish Journal of Sports Medicine. 2009, 43(13), 973-978
Background: Limited knowledge exists on injuries among professional alpine skiers. Objective: To describe the risk of injury and the injury pattern among competitive World Cup alpine skiers during the competitive season. Methods: We performed retrospective interviews with all World Cup athletes from 10 nations at the end of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 winter seasons and recorded all acute injuries occurring during the 4.5-month competitive season. If the athlete was not present, we interviewed their coaches or medical personnel. Results: A total of 191 acute injuries were recorded among 521 World Cup alpine skiers. As many as 86 injuries (45%) occurred during World Cup/World Ski Championship competitions, corresponding to an injury rate of 9.8 injuries per 1000 runs (95% confidence interval, 7.8 to 11.9). We found the injury rate to increase with increasing speed (slalom 4.9 injuries per 1000 runs, 95% CI 2.5 to 7.4 - giant slalom 9.2, 5.1 to 13.3 - super-G 11.0, 5.2 to 16.8 - downhill 17.2, 11.6 to 22.7). The most frequently injured body part was knee with 68 injuries (36%) and 37 of these were severe. The overall injury rate was higher in males compared to females, but not for knee injuries. Conclusions: The risk of injury among World Cup athletes in alpine skiing is even higher than previously reported and the knee is the most commonly injured body part and with many severe injuries. Injury rate increased with higher speed and was higher among males compared to females.
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