Orthopaedic injuries in martial arts

Zreik, Nasri Hanri (2017) Orthopaedic injuries in martial arts. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Injuries in martial arts are commonly reported though little research has been conducted on orthopaedic injuries. Poorly managed or untreated injuries may result in long-term complications. As martial arts present a heterogeneous population, this thesis focusses on contact striking martial arts.
To identify the frequency and types of orthopaedic injuries in contact striking martial arts; the factors that may increase the risk of injury and the health seeking behaviour of martial artists.
A systematic review of studies reporting on the frequency of injury in contact striking martial arts identified in three databases was undertaken followed by a self-report survey of martial artists participating in Chinese Kickboxing
Systematic review: 15 studies reporting on orthopaedic injury were found, of which 13 reported on event rates of injury. Orthopaedic injury event rates varied between 6.8 and 184.2 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures with considerable heterogeneity between studies. Lower limb injuries were most common accounting for 44.6% (n=228) of injuries. This was followed by upper limb injuries (29.5%, n=151), the trunk (17.4%, n=89) and the neck (8.4%, n=43).

A total of 100 martial artists were recruited to the cross-sectional study. There were 96 orthopaedic injuries reported by these participants giving a one-year period prevalence of orthopaedic injuries of 57% and a mean of 0.96 injuries per participant. The lower limb was the most commonly injured region (61.5%, n=59). This was followed by the upper limb (18.8%, n=18), the trunk (15.6%, n=15) and the neck (4.2%, n=4). Most injuries (86%, n=84) occurred in a class setting and during sparring. In a logistic regression of other risk factors, an increased odds of injury was seen in male participants, those aged over 30 years and those who attended more than one class per week. In over half of injuries reported (58.3%, n=56), the martial artist sought further help. Most attended a general practitioner or accident and emergency department and over a third of these had onward referral to orthopaedic services.
Orthopaedic injuries are common in contact striking martial arts. The data on the prevalence of injuries and associated risk factors presented in this thesis may assist clinicians and athletes in developing injury prevention and management strategies for contact striking martial artists.

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