Sports injuries: snowsports

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 5 Mar 2021

Snowsport injuries cover a broad range of activities from skiing and snowboarding to recreational play (e.g. tobogganing, tubing).


Snowsports are popular with over 70 million people globally participating each year 1. While the injury rate varies depending on location, a rough average is ~3 injuries per 1000 skier/boarder-days 2,3


  • falls (most common, >70%) 1,3
  • collisions 
  • jumps
  • man-made terrain features
  • lift accidents

There are differences between skier and snowboarder patterns of injuries:

  • skiers
    • lower extremity (most common) 1
      • knee most common site 3,4
  • snowboarders
    • upper extremity (most common) 1,4
      • wrist fractures 10x more common in snowboarders than skiers 3
    • lower extremity

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: tibial and fibular shaft fractures
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  • Case 2: lateral talar process fracture
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  • Case 3: lumbar spine fracture dislocation
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