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June 1989

Auricular Injury and the Use of Headgear in Wrestlers

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Dr Schuller and Ms Martin), Preventive and Internal Medicine (Dr Strauss), The Ohio State University, Columbus; and Department of Otolaryngology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Dr Dankle).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(6):714-717. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860300068019

• Questionnaires designed to assess attitudes and use of headgear were completed by 537 Division I collegiate wrestlers. Only 35.2% of the wrestlers wore headgear all of the time during practice as opposed to 92.4% during competition, which was a statistically significant difference. The most common reason for not wearing headgear was discomfort (35%). There were 482 participating in nonschool team events, and 203 (42%) described headgear use as "seldom or never." However, there was a statistically significant difference of developing auricular hematoma while wearing headgear (26%) vs not wearing headgear (52%). There were 208 (39%) who reported a permanent auricular deformity resulting from an injury that occurred with (10.6%) or without (26.6%) headgear. These results suggest that headgear provides only partial protection and that nonuse is widespread, causing a surprisingly high frequency of permanent auricular deformities.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115:714-717)

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