Int J Sports Med 2015; 36(03): 249-253
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1387764
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Injuries in Competitive Boxing. A Prospective Study

J. Siewe
1   Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
J. Rudat
1   Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
K. Zarghooni
1   Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
R. Sobottke
2   Centre of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Medical Centre Aachen, Würselen, Germany
P. Eysel
1   Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
C. Herren
2   Centre of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Medical Centre Aachen, Würselen, Germany
P. Knöll
1   Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
U. Illgner
3   Department of Orthopeadic and Trauma Surgery, St. Josef-Stift, Sendenhorst, Germany
J. Michael
4   Department of Orthopedic, Trauma and Spine Surgery, Marienhaus Hospital, Bendorf-Neuwied-Waldbreitbach, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 14 July 2014

Publication Date:
06 November 2014 (online)


Boxing remains a subject of controversy and is often classified as dangerous. But the discussion is based mostly on retrospective studies. This survey was conducted as a prospective study. From October 2012 to September 2013, 44 competitive boxers were asked to report their injuries once a month. The questionnaire collected general information (training, competition) and recorded the number of bouts fought, injuries and resulting lost days. A total of 192 injuries were recorded, 133 of which resulted in interruption of training or competition. Each boxer sustained 3 injuries per year on average. The injury rate was 12.8 injuries per 1 000 h of training. Boxers fighting more than 3 bouts per year sustain more injuries (p=0.0075). The injury rate does is not a function of age (age≤19 vs. > 19a, p=0.53). Injuries to the head and the upper limbs occur most frequently. The most common injuries are soft tissue lacerations and contusions. Head injuries with neurological symptoms rarely occur (4.2%). Boxing has a high injury rate that is comparable with other contact sports, but most injuries are minor. Injury frequency is not a function of whether the boxer competes in the junior or adult category. Athletes fighting many bouts per year have a greater risk of injury.

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