Characteristics of injuries sustained by snowboarders in a terrain park

Clin J Sport Med. 2013 May;23(3):172-7. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e31827bd918.


Objective: To determine injured body regions and injury type resulting from snowboarding on aerial and nonaerial terrain park features and the accuracy of ski patrol assessments compared with physician diagnoses.

Design: Case series study.

Setting: An Alberta terrain park during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons.

Patients: There were 333 snowboarders injured on features (379 injuries).

Assessment of risk factors: Aerial or nonaerial terrain park feature used at injury, injured body region, injury type, and additional risk factors were recorded from ski patrol Accident Report Forms, emergency department medical records, and telephone interviews.

Measures: Odds of injury to body regions and injury types on aerial versus nonaerial features were calculated using multinomial logistic regression. Accuracy of ski patrol injury assessments was examined through sensitivity, specificity, and kappa (κ) statistics.

Results: The wrist was the most commonly injured body region (20%), and fracture was the most common injury type (36%). Compared with the upper extremity, the odds of head/neck [odds ratio (OR), 2.58; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.37-4.85] and trunk (OR, 3.65; 95% CI, 1.68-7.95) injuries were significantly greater on aerial features. There was no significant association between aerial versus nonaerial feature and injury type. The accuracy of ski patrol injury assessment was higher for injured body region (κ = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.54-0.75) than for injury type (κ = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.22-0.37).

Conclusions: Snowboarders were significantly more likely to sustain head/neck or trunk injuries than upper extremity injuries on aerial features. Investigators should acknowledge potential misclassification when using ski patrol injury assessments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Wrist Injuries / epidemiology*