Boxing, Wrestling, and Martial Arts Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments in the United States, 2002-2005

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Pappas, Evangelos (2007)
  • Publisher: Asist Group
  • Journal: Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (issn: 1303-2968)
  • Subject: GV557-1198.995 | Combat sports injuries | Research Article | Sports | sports injuries | emergency department visits | complex sample design | Sports medicine | RC1200-1245

The incidence of injury in combat sports has not been adequately reported although it is important to identify the nature and frequency of injuries prior to the implementation of prevention programs. This study compared injury rates treated in Hospital Emergency Departments between different combat sports of boxing, wrestling, and martial arts. A secondary objective described anatomic region and diagnosis of these injuries. Data were obtained on all boxing, wrestling, and martial arts-related injuries that were in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database and resulted in Emergency Department visits between 2002 and 2005. Pearson’s chi-square statistics were calculated to compare injury rates for each activity accounting for complex sample design. Martial arts had lower injury rates compared to boxing and wrestling for all diagnoses (p<0.001). Boxing had lower injury rates compared to wrestling for strains/sprains and dislocations. Boxing and wrestling had similar injury rates for concussions. Injury prevention efforts should consider the distribution of injuries and concentrate on preventing strains/sprains in wrestling, concussions in boxing and wrestling, and fractures for all three activities. The findings of the present study do not provide evidence that combat sports have alarmingly high rates of injuries resulting in emergency department visits.
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