Objectives: To develop a profile of direct catastrophic injuries in international styles of wrestling and to describe possible risk factors.
Design: Survey and retrospective review
Setting: Catastrophic injuries which occurred in wrestling clubs in Iran from July 1998 to June 2005 were identified by contacting several sources. The cases were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: The injuries included were 29 direct injuries (fatalities: 12, non-fatal: 11, and serious: 6).The injury rate was: 1.99 direct catastrophic injuries /100,000 wrestlers/year. The majority of direct injuries occurred during training sessions, with a trend toward more injuries in the low- and middle-weight classes and those who were competing at high performance and experience levels. The takedown position, especially for the attacking wrestler who faces a counter attack, was the most common activity at the time of injury. A list of risk factors was suggested of which ‘performing the wrestling maneuver incorrectly’, ‘inappropriate management of the injury’, ‘lack of the coach supervision’, ‘mat problems’ and ‘lack of restraining the wrestlers in a precarious position’ were the most common risk factors.
Conclusions: Catastrophic wrestling injuries are rare and preventable. Coaches have an essential role in the prevention of these injuries.