Auricular injury and the use of headgear in wrestlers

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989 Jun;115(6):714-7. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1989.01860300068019.


Questionnaires designed to assess attitudes and use of headgear were completed by 537 Division I collegiate wrestlers. Only 35.2% of the wrestlers wore headgear all of the time during practice as opposed to 92.4% during competition, which was a statistically significant difference. The most common reason for not wearing headgear was discomfort (35%). There were 482 participating in nonschool team events, and 203 (42%) described headgear use as "seldom or never." However, there was a statistically significant difference of developing auricular hematoma while wearing headgear (26%) vs not wearing headgear (52%). There were 208 (39%) who reported a permanent auricular deformity resulting from an injury that occurred with (10.6%) or without (26.6%) headgear. These results suggest that headgear provides only partial protection and that nonuse is widespread, causing a surprisingly high frequency of permanent auricular deformities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Attitude
  • Ear, External / injuries*
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Ohio
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / prevention & control*
  • Wrestling*