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Injury Prevention Strategies in Skiers and Snowboarders

Hansom, Donald1; Sutherland, Alasdair2

Current Sports Medicine Reports: May-June 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 169-175
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3181df9211
Training: Section Articles

With associated snow sports injury risks being well documented, the scope for preventative medicine is clear. This article focuses on potential precautions taken by skiers/snowboarders and how they vary between different snow sport groups. A total of 181 randomly selected individuals from the Whistler/Blackcomb Medical Centre, Canada, took part in this questionnaire-based cohort study, examining snow sports activity, preventive measures, and protective equipment use. Most individuals were ski area residents of advanced expertise, with 50% having had a previous snow-riding injury. The most commonly reported significant ski injury was anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, while in snowboarders, it was wrist fracture. Skiers were more likely to improve fitness levels before going onto the slopes, whereas crossover riders (both skiing and snowboarding) were more likely to take lessons. Most individuals used eye and sun protection and had adequately warm clothing. Beyond basic precautions, protective equipment and preventive measures are used infrequently. It is suggested that by increasing awareness and use of such equipment, injury rates may be reduced.

1Department of Accident and Emergency, Dumfries Royal Infirmary, Dumfries, Scotland, UK; 2Department of Orthopaedics, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Address for correspondence: Donald Hansom, MBChB, B.Sc., Garage Cottage, Crichton Royal Hospital, Glencaple Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TZ, Scotland, UK (E-mail:

© 2010 American College of Sports Medicine