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Snowboard cross with highest injury risk among all snowboard disciplines
These are the results from a 6-year cohort study among elite World Cup snowboarders, a collaboration between the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, that just got published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.
As there is limited knowledge on the injury rate and injury pattern in the different disciplines among elite snowboarders, the aim of this project was to describe and compare the injury rate and injury pattern among the different World Cup (WC) snowboard disciplines.
Almost 1500 athlete interviews between 2007 and 2012
At the end of each season in the period 2007-2012, the research team from the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center conducted retrospective interviews with all FIS WC snowboard athletes to register their acute injuries sustained during training or competition during the competitive season. An injury to be registered had to require attention by medical personnel.
To calculate the exposure (“time to risk”, expressed as 1000 runs), the research team obtained information from the FIS competition database. Here, all results and runs are stored for all WC competitions for each of the interviewed athletes.
2 in 5 athletes injured each season with SBX peaking the stats
A total of 574 injuries among 1432 athletes were registered, accounting for an overall injury rate of 40 injuries per 100 athletes per season.
During FIS WC competitions, a total of 171 injuries occurred, corresponding to 6.4 injuries/1000 runs.
Injury risk was highest in snowboard cross with 12 injuries/1000 runs, followed by 6 injuries in halfpipe, 4 injuries in big air and 3 injuries in parallel giant slalom/parallel slalom (all calculated per 1000 runs).
High injury risk for knee, shoulder, and head injuries
The most commonly injured body part was the knee (18%), followed by the shoulder/clavicle (13%) and head/face (13%).
The risk of a knee injury and or a head injury was 5 to 8 times higher in snowboard cross and halfpipe compared to paralell (giant) slalom.
Snowboard cross also had the highest risk of severe injuries, leading to absence from training and competition for more than 1 month.
No differences in injury risk were detected between male and female snowboarders for any of the disciplines.
This is the largest study until now on injury rate and injury pattern among elite snowboarders. Based on these data, focus should be given to the prevention of knee injuries, severe injuries and injuries among snowboard cross athletes in specific.
This study was led by Master student Daniel Major with his collaborators and supervisors Sophie Steenstrup, Tone Bere, Roald Bahr and Lars Nordsletten.