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October 22, 1982

Injuries Among Wrestlers in School and College Tournaments

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Preventive Medicine (Drs Strauss and Lanese) and Medicine (Dr Strauss), The Ohio State University, Columbus.

JAMA. 1982;248(16):2016-2019. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330160064026

We studied four wrestling tournaments that totaled 1,049 participants of grade school, high school, and college age levels. Two clearly serious injuries occurred: a wrist fracture and an elbow dislocation. Knee and ankle sprains of mild to moderate severity were the most common diagnoses. No injuries to the pinna occurred probably because ear protectors were worn. Nine- to 14-year-old boys were injured least frequently (3.8%), partly because their matches were the shortest. The overall injury rate for high school and college wrestlers was 12.0%. Risk of injury did not vary with weight class or with successive matches. Thirty-nine percent of all injuries were because of aggravation of old injuries. Thus, rehabilitation after injury is believed to be an important preventive measure. These findings suggest that, although most injuries in wrestling are not severe, attendance at tournaments by medically trained personnel is warranted.

(JAMA 1982;248:2016-2019)

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