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Severe head and neck injuries resulting in death or serious sequelae in judo have been recently reported in Japan,1 2 reaffirming the importance of establishing effective measures to reduce such serious injuries. We describe how and in whom the severe head and neck injuries occur in judo and outline the potentially preventive strategies.
Injuries in judo
Judo is a whole-body sport; however, injuries of the knee, shoulder and fingers are common.3 Head and neck injuries are rarer, with incidences of 2.44 and 1.47 cases per 100 000 judokas per year, respectively, but they tend to be more serious.1 According to accident reports submitted to the All Japan Judo Federation’s System, there were 30 cases of head injury and 19 cases of neck injury reported between 2003 and 2010.1
Young players aged <20 years accounted for 90% (27/30) of cases of head injury. Many of the victims of these injuries had <1 year of experience. Head injuries occurred while being thrown in approximately 70% (21/30) of cases during osoto-gari. Osoto-gari …