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Am J Sports Med. 2001 Jul-Aug;29(4):437-40.

Head injuries in snowboarders compared with head injuries in skiers. A prospective analysis of 1076 patients from 1994 to 1999 in Niigata, Japan.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Saito Memorial Hospital, Minami-uonuma-gun, Niigata, Japan.


We investigated snowboarding-related head injury cases and skiing-related head injury cases during five ski seasons at one resort area. There were 634 snowboarding-related head injuries and 442 skiing-related head injuries. The number of snowboarding head injuries increased rapidly over the study period. More male snowboarders than female snowboarders suffered head injuries. For both snowboarders and skiers, head injuries frequently occurred on the easy and middle slopes. Falls were the most frequent causes of injury in both groups. Jumping was a more frequent cause of injury in the snowboarders (30%) than in the skiers (2.5%). Injury to the occipital region predominated in the snowboarders as compared with the skiers. There were 49 organic lesions in 37 snowboarders and 46 organic lesions in 33 skiers. Subdural hematoma was frequent in the snowboarding head injury group, and fracture was frequent in the skiing head injury group compared with the snowboarding group (not significant). Subdural hematoma was likely to be caused by a fall rather than by a collision, and bone fracture was likely to be caused by a collision rather than by a fall. Four snowboarders and one skier died as a result of their head injuries. Our data suggest that snowboarding head injuries may be prevented by protection of the occipital region and refraining from jumping by beginners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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