Changing Ski Type Reduces ACL Risk
Cut ski length, narrow ski tip width, lower rear standing height and lower standing height ratio (which is when the rear component of the ski binding is more elevated compared with the front component) will lower the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, new data shows.
The study, “Impact of ski geometry data and standing height ratio on the ACL injury risk and its use for prevention in recreational skiers,” was published online on May 10, 2022, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
To see if ski geometry and standing height ratio affected ACL risk levels in recreational skiers, the researchers conducted a case-control study of both ACL-injured and uninjured skiers using a retrospective questionnaire to gather data.
Ski geometry data (ski length, side-cut radius, widths of the tip, waist and tail) were recorded from each participant’s skis. The researchers measured the standing heights at the front and rear components of the ski binding using a digital sliding caliper. They then calculated the standing height ratio between the front and rear.
There were 1,817 recreational skiers included in the study and 392 of them experienced an ACL injury. Older age, lower skill level and riskier behaviors were found to be independent individual risk factors. And an increase in ski length, tip width of the ski, standing height at the rear ski binding component, and in standing height ratio were found to be independent equipment-related risk factors for an ACL injury.
“When buying or renting skis, these parameters could be considered to reduce the likelihood of ACL injury in recreational skiers,” the researchers wrote.
The study authors included, Gerhard Ruedl and Markus Posch of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, Katja Tecklenburg and Alois Schran of Medalp, Imst, Austria, Klaus Greier of University College of Education in Stams, Austria, Martin Faulhaber, also of the University of Innsbruck, Irving Scher of the University of Washington in the U.S., and Martin Burtscher also of the University of Innsbruck.