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Impact of ski geometry data and standing height ratio on the ACL injury risk and its use for prevention in recreational skiers


Objectives To evaluate the impact of ski geometry data and standing height ratio on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk of male and female recreational skiers.

Methods A retrospective questionnaire-based, case–control study of ACL-injured and uninjured recreational skiers was conducted during six consecutive winter seasons. Ski geometry data (ski length, side-cut radius, widths of the tip, waist and tail) were recorded from each participant’s skis. Standing heights at the front and rear components of the ski binding were measured with a digital sliding calliper, and the standing height ratio between the front and rear was calculated.

Results A total of 1817 recreational skiers participated in this study, of whom 392 (21.6%) sustained an ACL injury. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicates a higher age, a lower skill level and riskier behaviour as independent individual risk factors associated with an ACL injury. An increase in ski length, tip width of the ski, standing height at the rear ski binding component, and in standing height ratio were found to be independent equipment-related risk factors for an ACL injury.

Conclusion Reduced ski length, narrower ski tip width, lower rear standing height and a lower standing height ratio (ie, rear component of the ski binding is more elevated compared with the front component) were associated with a reduced likelihood for ACL injury. When buying or renting skis, these parameters could be considered to reduce the likelihood of ACL injury in recreational skiers.

  • accidental Injuries
  • knee injuries
  • risk factor
  • skiing

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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