Oslo Sport Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) at recently started a new project on injuries in World Cup alpine skiing. The international Skiing Federation (FIS) has funded this in-depth study with 150.000 CHF. The long term goal is to find out why and how injuries occur and thereby reduce the number of injuries among World Cup alpine skiers.
High injury incidence at World Cup level
To register all injuries in World Cup, OSTRC, in collaboration with FIS, established an injury surveillance system (FIS Injury Surveillance System, ISS) in 2006. This project is financially supported by dj Orthopaedics, a global specialist in rehabilitation and regeneration products.
Results from the two first seasons show that the injury incidence among World Cup alpine skiers is alarmingly high. One in three athletes sustains an injury per season. Over 30% of the injuries are serious injuries leading to long term absence from training and competition. Data from the FIS ISS has already resulted in new regulations regarding safety equipment.
Video analysis of skiing injuries
This project will be the first to analyze mechanisms of skiing injuries at the World Cup level. Videotapes of injuries from the two last seasons, as well as injuries that may occur during the upcoming seasons, will be systematically analyzed.
The aim is firstly to look at the athlete`s movement, the function of safety equipment, circumstances of injury and other potential risk factors. Secondly, the aim is to carry out detailed biomechanical analysis of joint kinematics for ACL injuries. These injuries are a major concern in alpine skiing. The detailed analysis will be studied by using a new technique for three-dimensional reconstruction of human motion from video sequences.
This technique involves a manual matching of a skeleton model to the background (see an example of an skiing injury on SKADEFRI). The results of the video analysis will hopefully provide a better understanding on how to improve skiing athletes´ safety, i.e. by more safety equipment, changes in training methods, as well as race regulations.
Project manager and co-workers
Tone Bere (PhD-student) is the principal investigator of the project with Professor Roald Bahr as supervisor. Tone is a physical therapist educated at Bergen University College (2002), and has a master degree in Sport Physical Therapy at Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. As a master student, she was working with the FIS ISS. Tone is a former competitive skier in alpine and telemark skiing, and she has experiences with skiing injuries from several seasons of ski patroling in Geilo.
Other researchers involved are Professor Lars Nordsletten, Tron Krosshaug (PhD) and Tonje Wåle Flørenes (PhD-student). Tone Wigemyr and Vegard Sørumshagen (Master students) are also involved in the project.