Study and statistics of upper body injuries for snowboarders

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 21, 2010 1:44 pm

(Image: my right hand broken snowboarding 25feb05, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tranq72′s photostream)

Scientists have conducted epidemiological research on characteristics of upper extremity injuries resulting from snowboarding. Studies were carried out with particular focus on the relation to snowboarding stance, falling direction, and the side of the body where the injury takes place.

These studies analyzed and observed the information obtained from almost 2,000 patients with fractures or dislocations of the upper extremity sustained during snowboarding between the years of 2000 and 2008.

During the diagnosis, researchers focused on the patients’ injured part and side, stance (whether they were regular or goofy), and the direction that they fell. All aspects of the injuries were collectively analyzed during the eight year scientific studies.

The results: The patients were first characterized by skill level. Out of the total patients interviewed, 57.9% were beginners, 38% were intermediates, and 4% were experts. A whopping eighty-eight percent of the patients had never received instruction from a licensed instructor.

Overall, 53% of the injuries recorded were wrist fractures. 16.8% were injuries due to upper arm fractures, 11.5% were shoulder dislocations, and 9.8% were elbow dislocations.

In total, 1742 patients, (90.8%), were in regular stance when they injured themselves, whereas 176 patients, (9.2%), were in goofy stance when injured.

Scientists also observed that there was a significant difference in the location of the injury between the two riding stances.

When the injured sides were classified according to the sliding direction, 61.7% were wrist fractures that had occurred on the opposite side from the sliding direction, whereas shoulder dislocations were at 65.6%, upper arm fractures at 82.9%, and elbow dislocations at 79.8% occurred on the same side as the sliding direction.

When the injured sides were studied and classified according to their falling direction, wrist fractures (68.1%), and elbow dislocations (63.5%) occurred because of backward falls. On the contrary, shoulder dislocations (68.9%) and upper arm fractures (60.7%) occurred because of forward falls.

Their Conclusion: Opposing snowboarding stances, as well as the two different falling directions, had a significant influence on the frequency of that injured side in the upper extremity area of the body.

Riders be aware, and be careful out there!