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The American Journal of Sports Medicine
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 38  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 1468 - 1474

Characteristics of Upper Extremity Injuries Sustained by Falling During Snowboarding: A Study of 1918 Cases

K Yamauchi, K Wakahara, M Fukuta, K Matsumoto, H Sumi, K Shimizu and K. Miyamoto    

Abstract:

Background: Little epidemiological research on characteristics of upper extremity injuries resulting from snowboarding has been conducted, particularly in relation to snowboarding stance, falling direction, and the side of the body where the injury occurs.

Hypothesis: Snowboarding stance and the direction of the fall may influence the frequency of the side or the location of the upper extremity injury.

Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods: This study analyzed the information obtained from 1918 patients with fractures or dislocations of the upper extremity (excluding the fingers and scapula) sustained during snowboarding/sliding between 2000 and 2008. Diagnosis, injured part and side, stance (regular or goofy), and falling directions were prospectively analyzed. Associations among these parameters were also analyzed.

Results: As characterized by skill level, patients were beginners (57.9%), intermediates (38.0%), and experts (4.0%). Eighty-eight percent had not received instruction from licensed instructors. Diagnoses included wrist fractures (53.7%), upper arm fractures (16.8%), shoulder dislocations (11.5%), and elbow dislocations (9.8%). In sum, 1742 (90.8%) patients were in regular stance when they fell, whereas 176 (9.2%) were in goofy stance. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of the injured side between the 2 stances. When the injured sides were classified according to the sliding direction, wrist fractures (61.7%) occurred on the side opposite the sliding direction, whereas shoulder dislocations (65.6%), upper arm fractures (82.9%), and elbow dislocations (79.8%) occurred on the same side as the sliding direction. When the injured sides were classified according to the falling direction, wrist fractures (68.1%) and elbow dislocations (63.5%) occurred because of backward falls, and shoulder dislocations (68.9%) and upper arm fractures (60.7%) occurred because of forward falls.

Conclusion: Two snowboarding stances as well as 2 falling directions had a significant influence on the frequency of the injured side in the upper extremity.

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