OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of ski injuries in Norway and to describe the changes between 1990 and 1996. METHODS: All ski injuries (7966) treated at four hospitals providing health care to a defined population of about 11% of the Norwegian population were registered prospectively from 1990 to 1996. For this study, 6462 injuries sustained in cross country skiing, downhill skiing, telemark skiing, and snowboarding were selected for further analysis. RESULTS: The relative distribution of ski injuries by type of skiing changed significantly from 1990 to 1996 (p<0.001). Injuries from snowboarding showed the highest relative increase, and those sustained during downhill skiing showed a decline. The proportion of fractures in all types of skiing increased during the study period (p=0.001). The proportion of injuries to knee/lower leg decreased and the proportion to the forearm/wrist/hand increased during the study period (p=0.03). The mean age of the injured skiers differed significantly among the different types of skiing activity (p<0.001): cross country skiers were the oldest followed by telemark skiers, downhill skiers, and snowboarders. CONCLUSIONS: Ski injury surveillance results in early detection of changes in temporal injury trends, allowing timely adjustment of injury prevention strategies. Injuries from snowboarding are on the increase in Norway, warranting more effective injury prevention measures.
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