Objective: To show the trends in the rate and type of skiing injuries in Australia.
Design: A retrospective analysis of skiing injuries in the Snowy Mountains from 1962 to 1988.
Setting: All injuries were seen and treated at the Ski Injury Clinic in Perisher Valley.
Patients: A total of 22,261 injuries were seen over this 27 year period (data for 1963, 1964, 1966, 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1982 were missing).
Interventions: Injured skiers were treated at the Clinic with a small number sent to main centres for tertiary care.
Main outcome measures: The overall injury rate (1962-1988) and the specific injury rate for six subgroups of injuries (1974-1988) were calculated.
Results: The overall injury rate declined dramatically over this period. The incidence of tibial fractures, ankle injuries and lacerations also declined. Upper body injuries continue to rise although this trend was not statistically significant. There was a statistically significant increase in knee injuries.
Conclusions: The trends reported here are similar to those overseas except that the incidence of thumb injuries has not changed in Australia. The changes in the rates of lacerations, and tibial and ankle injuries can be related to improvements in ski bindings and boots.