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So many Boot Top Fractures

post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
I know we have a big membership here but the number of boot top fractures reported here have been way too many.

As some one suggested, maybe there is something going on with binding settings, types of skis, boots, din settings?

Whatever the situation it's good discussion to compare and maybe find a common fact that might prevent someone else getting injured.

It seems to me way more breaks than knee injuries these days. It's not just the 10 day a year skiers but the pro's too.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 119
Maybe as simple as "when something bad happens, you tell ten people"?
post #3 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
Thoughts?
One thing that Ric's Noodler's, and Bonni's injuries have in common is that all 3 took place relatively early in the season.
post #4 of 119
I'm formulating some ideas, which I hope to post in the not too distant future...

I have spoken with Tony about his injury, and am hoping to speak with Noodler about his soon. I'm not sure when Bonni will be up to speaking with me about hers.

I have spoken with a few other non- Bears who have had the same injury over the past 2 seasons, and am beginning to draw a frightening picture of what is happening.

Remember, this will be a non- scientific, look at the situation.
post #5 of 119
Can someone define/describe what a boot top fracture is?
post #6 of 119
In the late 90s through 2000 I was skiing at a small mountain in Southern Oregon. One of my occasional chair partners was a semi-retired bone doctor who had been in the business for over 40 years and who's son was a bone doctor at his practice full time. He was always complaining about boot top fractures for two reasons. First, he said he was seeing many more of them than in previous decades. His other complaint was about what a pain they were since blood flow to your shin bone is so poor they are hard to heal.
post #7 of 119
Thread Starter 
Daryl's break was different than most i'm guessing. He was sliding the big rail in the terrain park at Copper when his left ski dipped below the rail. Back then(two years ago) there was no solid fence between the uprights of the rail. His ski caught the center upright and his binding didn't release snapping both bones of the lower leg just above the boot.

His setup, Rossignol Scratch skis, 174, Rossignol bindings set at 7.5, Solomon boots, new at the time. A titanium rod and screws were put in the big bone with no cast. Copper Ski Patrol was awesome as a long time Patroller myself, they are next to none in my book.
post #8 of 119
Incidences of “boot top” break makes sense to me when considering the bodies stressing massive energy seeking a first release point. Therefore I’m curious as to how future boot design could better dissipate unusual load while still maintaining superior energy transmission as well as bindings differentiating between extreme skiing demands and getting hooked on a blue groomer.

Your post Lars has caused me to think about how the act of skiing will differ with tomorrows technologies engineered to best eliminate body trauma…and will we still enjoy as we do today?
post #9 of 119
I'm starting to wonder about the effect of shorter carving skis and any relationship to boot top breaks.
post #10 of 119
Boots too stiff?
post #11 of 119
Just a hypothesis:
Bobble at high speed on a short ski and the tip can get angled into the snow a lot more than on a long ski. The tip digs in, the ski stops, the skier keeps going, the leg breaks.
post #12 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Just a hypothesis:
Bobble at high speed on a short ski and the tip can get angled into the snow a lot more than on a long ski. The tip digs in, the ski stops, the skier keeps going, the leg breaks.
Personally, I think this may have something to do with it. However, since that advent of shaped skis many more people have been exposed to the joys (and horrors) of advanced carving. As people got comfortable on this shaped skis, people have been skiing faster, on higher edges, using more powerful skis, and far too often wearing "comfortable" boots. Beyond this, as an instructor, I see a lot of people who are willing to ski rather quickly down blues and groomed blacks, but have ZERO capability in the bumps/powder/trees/crud. These people also can not ski slowly (speed hides all flaws) and therefore, the understanding of the sport is lacking as compared to their willingness to ski at full speed.

As Park and Pipe has grown, this has also skewed the figures because of the increased inherant risks (specifically like the fracture described above from a ski slipping off of a rail).
post #13 of 119
And then there is the possibility that many of us are getting older and refusing to turn down the bindings to the recommended DIN. I raise my hand as a member of that crowd.
post #14 of 119
Manus, you just described how I skied thirty some years ago. No skills and no fear, on a mission for speed, doing my best impersonation of a downhill racer. The only difference was my skis were more suited to the task. I gather though that I may be the exception and that most people in the past did not learn to carve, but to skid. Are there more people skiing faster these days?
post #15 of 119
Thread Starter 
I'm beginning to believe that shorter skis and the different way they are skied, somehow has a different effect on the way bindings release, or don't. While there have been major changes to the skis and our technique, there have been very few changes to the ways bindings release.

Toe pressures are totally different skiing the short carvers where before the ski was pressured forward much more to decamber the ski and iniate turn. Now you tip the ski on edge to turn. (ok you instructors, correct me) Have todays bindings kept up with technology?

We're skiing faster with lots more torque and pressure on edges than the old way of skiing straight down the fall line. Putting more pressure on everything from our hips to our lower leg bones. We're even flexing our ankles inside our stiff ski boots.

We're seeing real good skiers as well as lower level skiers with serious breaks. Hard to fault the skiers in every instance.
post #16 of 119
I'd like to see how high the bindings were set myself. When I turned 50, they moved the DIN down to like 5 and I haven't argued with them. I have had NO pre-releases at the lower setting, but then I don't race even when trying to keep up with the daughter (whose DIN's are set at 9!).
post #17 of 119

Me Too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
And then there is the possibility that many of us are getting older and refusing to turn down the bindings to the recommended DIN. I raise my hand as a member of that crowd.

I’ll be turning 57 this year and still have my bindings set at 9 or 9.5 using Markers and Tyrolias. I set my bindings at a level that just allows me to do a lateral toe and vertical heel release under my own voluntary muscle power. I use this test several times per season. I know it’s not scientific but it’s the method that all the good skiers I grew up emulating used. Luckily none of us have had any broken legs. Due to impacts with trees and hard snow we’ve broken thumbs and wrists but no legs. Given my age and weight I think the shops want to set my bindings at 6 or 6.5. I’ve always been more frightened of a pre-release at speed than concerned about the binding not releasing in a high speed fall. For me it has always been a given that a slow twisting fall in the lift line meant a trip to the hospital since the binding wasn’t designed to release under that kind of pressure. However, at my current settings and skiing knee deep powder I’ve hit a hole, had both skis stopped instantly and all I got was a double heel release/launch. I’ve had the same thing happen with one ski hitting a tree stump.

Does anyone else regularly set their bindings higher than the shops recommend? If so what method do you use to determine the setting?

Thanks,

Michael
post #18 of 119
shop puts me at 10 (170lbs, III+) I run my toes at 11, heels at 12 for normal resort skking and then when skiing big lines and hucks when i run at 13 and 14.
post #19 of 119
Thread Starter 
I don't think this is about din setting. Lets not turn it into that.

Lets explore the possibilities of total binding failure due to changing stress factors.
post #20 of 119
But Lars, that would presuppose that Bonni is some kind of uber carver. Of the boot top fractures posted at Epic this year, she is the exception in the kind of equipment, speed and style. Still with a lot more shape in skis (Bonni used One Luv 160 cm), even an intermediate skier can decamber a ski more than we used to with the nearly straight skis. That could theoretically cause a great increase in forward pressure on skis at the belly of a turn that might make release unpredictable.

I find it hard to attribute the boot top fractures we have discussed here in the past year as any more significant to skier injury than the anecdotal weather anomalies are to climate. It may become evidence of a paradigm shift in equipment and injury statistics, but short shaped skis have been common for a number of years now.
post #21 of 119
Thanks for the very interesting thread.

A few weeks back I was on the hill and found some nice, soft bumps. It was my first day on my new Elan Magfire 10's and I was anxious to give them a try in the bumps. I found my line and was jammin' down through my line and was thinking how pleased I was with the performance of my new ski's. Up ahead I saw a BIG soft bump and I decided I was going to "drive it." I dove in hard and my ski's stopped dead in my tracks. I went over the handle bars in true Superman form. My ski's were left behind. As I lay on the hill after a spectacular fall I thought DIN. I need to tighten down the DIN.

That night I turned on EpicSki.com and one of the first posts I read was a boot top fracture. Wow!! What an eye opener. I told myself NO!! Don't tighten the DIN. My binding did what it is suppose to do!!
Now this thread and thoughts.........

My Mag 10 has a big shovel, 125cm. In other words, there is a lot of ski up front which translates into more "grab." I'm not an engineer so take this for what it's worth. The ski's simply stopped when I aggressively approached this BIG soft mogul. Another thing about this ski...I have never felt so centered on a ski in my life. I feel like I am out front and over the ski. I like this. But it feels like a "new" set up. Length is 176cm and I am 5' 8" and 225lbs.. My DIN setting is 8.

More info......My boots are Salomon X-Wave 8's with a flex of 90. Thank God the flex was no higher and thank God I did come out of the binding.

A side note here......It was my first day skiing with a helmet. As I went flying out of my ski's and through the air I went into a tuck and roll, and landed first directly on my head!! The Boeri helmut absorbed the impact extremely well. I was thankful for it!!

So I learned a lot that day on the hill.......and here at EpicSki.com!!
Any thoughts on this fall??
post #22 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
I don't think this is about din setting. Lets not turn it into that.

Lets explore the possibilities of total binding failure due to changing stress factors.


Geez Lars, I certainly do think it has much to do with DIN.
When you say "changing stress factors" and "total binding failure", I'm not quite sure what you mean??

No argument here but I do think DIN is a setting that compensates for stress factors.
post #23 of 119
I really hope that some kind of new "awareness" comes out of this thread. I haven't spoken with Vail Snopro yet so I hold off on my own theories for now. I just want a better understanding of what may be happening and how I can minimize those risks going forward.
post #24 of 119
Stiff boot is my best guess. No play, something has to give, that would be your bones.
post #25 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
Geez Lars, I certainly do think it has much to do with DIN.
When you say "changing stress factors" and "total binding failure", I'm not quite sure what you mean??

No argument here but I do think DIN is a setting that compensates for stress factors.
I'm sure din does come into play. I just don't want to turn the thread into din setting arguments like we've had many over the years.
post #26 of 119
I think short flexible skis (Edit: Fischer WC SCs ARE flexible compared to my SGs) with big shovels and high speeds make a pretty dangerous combination. Bindings are designed to release in various directions, but you could be unfortunate enough to take the hit in exactly the wrong direction.
post #27 of 119
The comments posted are certainly interesting. I'm looking forward to reading what Vail Sno Pro has to say. He's been a top instructor, is a very knowledgeable person-and very bright. Plus, he has had, well- first hand (or more properly leg) experience...
post #28 of 119
Everyone,
I am an analyst - both by profession and passion - and the best way to determine a common element is to survey. I can create an on-line instrument if you will help me. I'm not a skier really so I don't know what questions to ask, but here is a start:

All questions refer to the time of the fracture.

Height
Weight
Age
Gender
Bone structure (large, medium, small)
Years skiing
Number of times per year (average over prior 3 years)
Skis
Bindings
Boots
Boot size
Shoe size
Din Setting
Activity that resulted in the fracture
Date of Fracture
Number of times skiid since last tuning
Time of Day fracture occurred
Which bone was broken (Tibia, Fibula, both)
What other injuries were sustained at the time of the fracture
Are you right or left foot dominant
Which leg was broken


What else can we ask?

Phoebe
post #29 of 119
In the most recent case, the fall was backwards in variable soft conditions, the ski stopped in a mound of snow creating the force that broke the tibia and projected the bone through the front of the shin above the boot K2 One Luv with Marker M10 Demo bindings. Boots unknown. I'm not sure what Noodler and VSP may describe, but I'm fairly certain that they experienced a lateral or forward leverage on the boot rather than from the boot spoiler. The point is, this remains a fairly uncommon injury and may not have common causes.
post #30 of 119

Fractures

SnoPro. Some research and study may be helpful and/or informative.

I was there and saw Bonni fall, skid, tuck a ski and break her leg. She was on an easy intermediate run off of Stella Chair, groomed run not icy with good snow. She was in my estimation going approx 17mph-20mph. Have no idea why she fell etc., Din was 5.

Some postings on DIN and age, for general information that also applies to me. Have always run a DIN of 8 (5'11 190), I always do a my muscle power realease check on the carpet early in the season. I moved my DIN to 7.5 mainly because of my age 64yrs and the fact I'd rather lose a ski than b low a knee etc.. One poor experience this year on a very steep run I cranked a right turn and blew my left ski out at the toe. Fischer bindings on Fischer ski's. Thinking about going back to 8.

I was absolute amazed at Bonni's injury. I have taken many falls a lot worse and wasn't injured. I still have a hard time really thinking about it and when I do it really bothers me a lot. It appeared to me that she took a normal type fall and then tucked he ski underneath herself, it caught and snap.

Sno pro - it will be interesting to see what you come up with. If I can help let me know.
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