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Difference in Injury Risk between Male and Female Alpine Skiers: Review of the Literature

Published on: 3rd April, 2024

Alpine skiing is popular at varying levels of competitiveness with many skiers participating recreationally and elite skiers competing in downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined events in the World Cup and in the Winter Olympic Games. The rate of injury in alpine skiing is high both recreationally and competitively and methods to reduce injury rates are needed. Additionally, it is well-established in other sports that the risk of injury for an athlete varies based on gender. The purpose of this review is to determine how injury risk differs for each gender of alpine skier. Injury rates vary throughout the literature but point towards males being at a higher risk for overall injury and upper body injuries while females are at a higher risk for knee injuries. Even the specific knee injuries for which each gender is at risk varies with medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries more common in males and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries more common in females. More studies are needed to confirm the differences in injury risks and how these risks may differ across levels of competition, thus allowing regulations and injury prevention methods that may be tailored specifically to the injuries an alpine skier is most susceptible to.
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