Caring for Wrestlers

Wrestling is a popular high school and college sport with an injury and illness rate second only to football. It is important that the physician providing medical care for wrestlers be familiar with the unique characteristics of wrestling and the associated common injuries and medical problems.

Common orthopedic injuries include shoulder, elbow, and finger dislocation; prepatellar bursitis; knee medial collateral ligament sprains; and cervical strains. Skin infections are the most common cause of missed mat time for wrestlers.

Physicians need to be able to identify and treat these infections, and know the rules regarding return to wrestling once an infection has been identified. Other conditions that are common include auricular hematomas, epistaxis, and brow lacerations. Physicians also need to be familiar with the medical issues involved with rapid weight loss and weight cycling, and understand the high school and college weight certification rules.


Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015 Sep-Oct;14(5):404-12. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000193. Caring for Wrestlers. Kiningham R1, Monseau A. Author information: 11Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI; and 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV.


‘It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so’
– Artemus Ward