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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Are Risk-Taking and Ski Helmet Use Associated with an ACL Injury in Recreational Alpine Skiing?

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
University College of Education (KPH) Stams, 6422 Stams, Austria
3
Medalp Sportclinic, 6460 Imst, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173107
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Sports Activities: Injuries and Prevention)
According to the risk compensation hypothesis, the use of a ski helmet might provide a false sense of security, resulting in a riskier behavior by skiing faster or more aggressively, which might lead to an increased injury risk. Injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a common diagnosis in downhill skiers. Thus, the aim of the study was to evaluate the potential impact of risk-taking and ski helmet use on ACL injury risk in recreational skiing. Eighty-two ACL injured and 446 uninjured skiers with a mean age of 37.3 ± 11.9 years (52% females) were surveyed during the winter season 2018/19 about age, sex, self-reported risk-taking behavior, self-reported skill level, perceived speed, and ski helmet use. Multiple regression analysis revealed that older age (OR: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.2–1.4), riskier behavior (OR: 5.4, 95% CI: 2.8–10.5), and lower skill level (OR: 6.7, 95% CI: 3.4–13.3) were found to be factors associated with ACL injury, while ski helmet use was not. In conclusion, no support for the risk compensation hypothesis was found with regard to ACL injuries. Therefore, we doubt that ski helmet use increases the risk for ACL injury and recommend wearing a ski helmet due to reported protective effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpine skiing; ACL injury; risk factor; risk-taking; risk compensation; ski helmet alpine skiing; ACL injury; risk factor; risk-taking; risk compensation; ski helmet
MDPI and ACS Style

Ruedl, G.; Posch, M.; Niedermeier, M.; Greier, K.; Faulhaber, M.; Schranz, A.; Burtscher, M. Are Risk-Taking and Ski Helmet Use Associated with an ACL Injury in Recreational Alpine Skiing? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3107.

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