Mechanisms of snowboarding-related severe head injury: shear strain induced by the opposite-edge phenomenon

Restricted access

Object. To date, there has been no published study in which the focus was on the mechanisms of head injuries associated with snowboarding. The purpose of this study was to identify these mechanisms.

Methods. The patient population consisted of 38 consecutive patients with snowboarding-related major head injuries who were treated at two hospitals in Japan, where for years many winter sports injuries have been treated. The skill level of the snowboarder, the cause of the accident, the direction of the fall, the site of impact to the head, and the condition of the ski slope were examined. The injuries were classified as coup, contrecoup, or shear injuries.

The predominant features of snowboarding-related major head injuries included: falling backward (68% of cases), occipital impact (66% of cases), a gentle or moderate ski slope (76% of cases), and inertial injury (76% of cases [shear injury in 68% and contrecoup injury in 8% of the patients]). Acute subdural hematoma frequently occurred after a patient fell on the slope (p = 0.025), fell backward (p = 0.0014), or received an occipital impact (p = 0.0064). Subcortical hemorrhagic contusions frequently occurred after the patient fell during a jump (p = 0.0488), received a temporal impact (p = 0.0404), or fell on the jump platform (p = 0.0075). Shear injury frequently occurred after a fall that occurred during a jump or after simple falls on the ski slope, and contact injury was frequently seen after a collision (p = 0.0441).

Conclusions. The majority of severe head injuries associated with snowboarding that occur after a simple fall on the slope are believed to involve the opposite-edge phenomenon, which results from a fall backward on a gentle or moderate slope causing occipital impact. The use of a device to protect the occiput is proposed to reduce head injuries associated with snowboarding.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Hiroshi Nakaguchi, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Teraoka Memorial Hospital, 37 Ooaza Shinichi, Shinichi town, Ashina gun, Hiroshima prefecture, 7293103, Japan. email: hnakaguchi@hi-ho.ne.jp.
Headings
References
  • 1.

    Abu-Laban RB: Snowboarding injuries: an analysis and comparison with alpine skiing injuries. Can Med Assoc J 145:109711031991Abu-Laban RB: Snowboarding injuries: an analysis and comparison with alpine skiing injuries. Can Med Assoc J 145:1097–1103 1991

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Gennarelli TAMeaney DF: Cranial trauma in Wilkins RHRengachary SS (eds): Neurosurgeryed 2. New York: McGraw-Hill1996 Vol 2 pp 26112621Gennarelli TA Meaney DF: Cranial trauma in Wilkins RH Rengachary SS (eds): Neurosurgery ed 2. New York: McGraw-Hill 1996 Vol 2 pp 2611–2621

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Nakaguchi HFujimaki THoya Ket al: [Cases of head injury during snowboarding.] Jpn J Neurosurg 6:2562601997 (Jpn)Nakaguchi H Fujimaki T Hoya K et al: [Cases of head injury during snowboarding.] Jpn J Neurosurg 6:256–260 1997 (Jpn)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Nakaguchi HFujimaki TUeki Ket al: Snowboard head injury: prospective study in Chino, Nagano, for two seasons from 1995 to 1997. J Trauma 46:106610691999Nakaguchi H Fujimaki T Ueki K et al: Snowboard head injury: prospective study in Chino Nagano for two seasons from 1995 to 1997. J Trauma 46:1066–1069 1999

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Sumi YMorita TKumazawa Iet al: [Trends in snowboard injury in these 8 seasons.] Clin Sports Med 14:2072121997 (Jpn)Sumi Y Morita T Kumazawa I et al: [Trends in snowboard injury in these 8 seasons.] Clin Sports Med 14:207–212 1997 (Jpn)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
TrendMD
Cited By
Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 167 141 13
Full Text Views 165 75 1
PDF Downloads 35 21 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0
PubMed
Google Scholar