2019 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #2114
Injuries in Elite Female Ski Jump Athletes
R. Kyle Martin, MD, FRCSC, St. Cloud, MN UNITED STATES
Marthea Stenseth, Stud. Med, Oslo NORWAY
Sindre Barli, Stud. Med, Oslo NORWAY
Lars Engebretsen, MD, PhD, Oslo/Lausanne NORWAY
Norwegian School of Sport Science and Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Oslo, NORWAY
FDA Status Not Applicable
Elite female ski jumpers were followed prospectively for one season. Over 25% sustained injuries, the majority of which occurred on the ski jump hill and resulted in time-loss from training and competition. This is the first study describing the epidemiology of female ski jumping injuries and future studies are needed to identify risk factors for injury and to guide injury prevention initiatives.
Female ski jumping is a relatively new sport that has gained in popularity and participation since its inclusion in the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup in 2011 and the Winter Olympics in 2014. Ski jump distances (hill sizes) are reduced for females compared to their male counterparts due to concerns regarding increased injury risk with longer jumps. The true injury risk is currently unknown however, as there have been no high-quality studies on female ski jumping injuries published in the literature. The purpose of this study was to describe the incidence, type, etiology, and severity of injuries sustained by FIS World Cup level female ski jumpers during the 2017-18 season.
This prospective cohort study recorded exposures and injuries to female FIS World Cup level ski jumpers during the 2017-18 season. Athletes that represented their country for at least one event were recruited to participate. Baseline demographic and injury history data was recorded via questionnaire at the beginning of the season. Biweekly reports and end-of-season interviews provided prospective injury data. All competition and training injuries requiring medical attention were recorded during the study period.
Sixty-seven athletes from 16 countries participated in the study. There were 17 injuries recorded over the 17-week season. This corresponds with an incidence of 25.4 injuries per 100 ski jumpers per season. The knee was the most common site of injury (4/17; 23.5%) and three-quarters of these were ligament ruptures. Eighty-two percent of all injuries occurred on the ski jump hill, split between competition (5/14) and training (9/14) jumps. Crash-landing was the most common mechanism of injury on the ski jump hill (10/14; 71%). Jumps resulting in injury averaged 83.7% (95% CI 72.9-94.4%) of hill size and only one athlete sustained an injury during a jump longer than the hill size. Moderate injuries causing eight to 28 days absence from training activities were most common (7/17; 41%) and three severe injuries necessitating greater than four-weeks absence were recorded. Seventy-five percent of all moderate and severe injuries occurred in snowing or windy conditions.
Discussion And Conclusion
Elite female ski jumpers sustain injuries at a high rate, and a significant proportion of these injuries result in time-loss from training and competition. The majority of the injuries were sustained on the ski jumping hill and inclement weather may be a risk factor. Regarding the injury risk relative to jump distance, most injuries occurred during jumps that were shorter than hill size. This is the first study describing the epidemiology of female ski jumping injuries and future studies are needed to identify risk factors for injury and to guide injury prevention initiatives.