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Snowblading injuries in Eastern Canada
  1. E J Bridges1,
  2. F Rouah2,
  3. K M Johnston1,3
  1. 1McGill Sports Medicine Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University, Montreal
  3. 3Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurotrauma, McGill University
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Bridges
 McGill Sports Medicine Center, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1S4;


Objectives: To evaluate injury patterns of snowbladers and compare them with those of skiers and snowboarders. To determine possible effects of helmet use in these sports on injury to the head and neck.

Methods: This prospective case series observational study was conducted by collecting the injury reports from the ski patrol during the 1999–2000 season at Mont Tremblant ski resort, Quebec. All participants in downhill winter sports who presented themselves to the ski patrol with traumatic injury related to their sport were included. A concussion was defined as any loss of consciousness, amnesia, confusion, disorientation, vertigo, or headache that resulted from injury. The ski patroller reported helmet use on the accident report at the time of injury.

Results: Snowbladers present with a unique pattern of injury compared with skiers and snowboarders. The incidence of leg, knee, and ankle/foot injuries were 20.5%, 25.6%, and 10.3% respectively. Concussions represented 11% of all injuries. There was no increase in other injury, including neck injury, related to helmet use.

Conclusions: Unique injury patterns in snowbladers warrant reconsideration of equipment design. Concussion is a common injury on the ski slope. Although the effects of helmet use on concussion rate are inconclusive based on this study, helmet use did not increase the rate of neck injury, even when adjusted for age.

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