Injuries in collegiate wrestling

  • Jarrett G
  • Orwin J
  • Dick R
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We evaluated the data of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System on collegiate wrestling with a focus on musculoskeletal injuries. Over 800,000 athlete-exposures during an 11-year period compose these data. Findings particular to wrestling and a comparison with other collegiate sports are included. Collegiate wrestling had a relatively high rate of injury at 9.6 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures. It was second to spring football in total injury rate. Most injuries in this study were not serious, with 6.3% resulting in surgery and 37.6% resulting in a week or more off from wrestling. There was only one catastrophic, nonfatal injury. The knee, shoulder, and ankle were the most commonly injured regions, and injuries to them were often the more serious. Sprains, strains, and contusions were the most common injury types. Takedowns and sparring were the most common activities at the time of injury. Mechanism of injury was evaluated; rotation about a planted foot and contact with environmental objects were identified as areas needing further attention. Illegal action accounted for only 4.6% of injuries in competition. Competition had a significantly higher injury rate than practice, but the injury profiles of these two areas showed both to be equally important. The preseason and regular season had higher injury rates than the postseason, but, again, the injury profiles of these periods were similar. Injury percentages were similar among the 10 weight classes.

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  • Glenn J. Jarrett

  • John F. Orwin

  • Randall W. Dick

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