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Over the last couple of decades the popularity of alpine skiing has dramatically risen with approximately 200 million people skiing worldwide Unfortunately along with several other sports alpine skiing has an inherent risk of injury Natri Beynnon Ettlinger Johnson Shealy 1999 Through the use of epidemiological research it is possible to identify the causes of injuries in alpine skiing and educate others With this knowledge practitioners in this sporting field are becoming aware of many of the predisposing factors and preventative measures of injury such as using proper technique programs and equipment As a result the incidence of injuries in alpine skiing has decreased Injury rates and patterns of alpine skiers have been studied at great length since the early 1940s The overall incidences involving ski injuries have steadily decreased from 5 to 8 injuries per 1000 skier days before the 1970s to between 2 and 3 injuries per 1000 skier days in the late 1980s and early 1990s Johnson Ettlinger Shealy 1997 Injuries that most commonly occurred during the 1940s and 1950s to the lower extremities such as ankle sprains 28 ankle fractures 11 and spiral tibial fractures 28 have declined by 87 Natri et al 1999 The main reason for the overall reduction of these injuries was the advancements in ski equipment ie the binding release and support system that was developed during the early 1980s The improvement in the technology has resulted in the incidence of ankle injuries and tibia fractures being reduced and being maintained at that level Natri et al 1999 At the same time there are certain types of skiing injuries that have not reported a reduction but rather an increase Since the early 1980s severe Grade III knee sprains have increased at an alarming rate and this trend continues today Johnson Pope 1991 The knee has been reported as the most common site of injury accounting for 20-27 of all skiing injuries Davidson
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