Injury rate and injury patterns in FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing: have the new ski regulations made an impact?
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Background: New regulations for ski equipment were implemented prior to the 2012/2013 season in the International Ski Federation (FIS) alpine World Cup (WC). Objective: This is the first study to investigate the effect of the new ski regulations on the rate, pattern and mechanisms of injury by comparing data before (2006-12) and after (2012-14) the implementation. Methods: Injuries were recorded by the FIS Injury Surveillance System (FIS ISS) through retrospective interviews at the end of eight WC seasons (2006-14). All acute injuries occurring in the competitive season that required medical attention were registered. Injury incidence was expressed as the absolute injury rate (injuries/100 athletes/season) and as the relative injury rate (injuries/1000 runs). Exposure was calculated by using official results listed on the FIS webpage. Videos of nine ACL injuries reported through the FIS ISS were systematically analysed in order to describe the injury mechanisms. Results: There was a higher rate of injury in training and competitions before risk ratio (RR) 1.47 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.77) compared to after the new ski regulations, expressed as injuries/100 athletes/season. The relative injury rate (per 1000 runs) during WC races was also found to be higher in the seasons before RR 1.60 (95% CI 1.20 to 2.15) the new regulations. No difference was found in the rate of knee/ACL injuries or in the injury mechanisms. Conclusion: There was 1.5 times higher risk of injuries in the seasons before the new regulations of ski equipment. The changes done to the equipment therefore seems to be successful.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2015