Neurotrauma from snow-sports related injuries is infrequently documented in the literature. In Australia no collective data has ever been published. The aim of this study is to document the injury pattern of snow sports related neurotrauma admissions to The Canberra Hospital, the regional trauma centre for the Snowy Mountains. A computerised hospital record search conducted between January 1994 and July 2002 revealed 25 head and 66 spinal injury admissions. The incidence of severe injuries requiring referral to tertiary trauma hospital was estimated to be 7.4 per 100,000 skier-days and for head and spinal injury 1.8 per 1,000,000 skier-days and 5.6 per 1,000,000 skier-days, respectively. Collision with a stationary object was disproportionately associated with head injury (p < 0.01) and falling forward with spinal injury (p < 0.005). Snowboarders tended to sustain cervical fractures more often than skiers (p = 0.009). The importance of helmet usage in buffering the impact of head-on collision and the proposition of having both feet fastened to a snowboard in leading to cervical injury were highlighted.
- Head injury
- Spinal injury