To investigate knee, back and hip overuse injuries in top female elite alpine skiers during the off-season preparation, which has so far received little attention, and to assess their relationship with traumatic preinjuries and overall training load.
A cohort of 26 females of the Swiss Alpine Ski-Team were prospectively surveyed by the use of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre questionnaire. Along with the surveys also total training loads were monitored. Data on preinjuries were assessed retrospectively by baseline questionnaires and were verified by team medical records.
57.7% of the female skiers suffered from at least one severe traumatic knee injury during their preceding career. The average 2-weekly prevalence of overuse injuries was highest for the knee, followed by the back and hip. Technique specialists (major giant slalom and slalom) were more prone to back overuse injuries than speed specialists (major super-G and downhill). The occurrence of knee overuse complaints was directly associated to previous severe traumatic knee injuries and athletes' total training hours.
In top female elite alpine skiers, knee, back and hip overuse injuries are relatively frequent. Moreover, discipline preferences, previous traumatic injuries and the overall training load may play an important role for their manifestation.