WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Nature and Patterns of musculoskeletal injuries in Nigeria amateur boxers training for the 10th ALL Africa Games.
Kayode Israel Oke

Last modified: 2012-02-07


The objective of this study was to investigate the type, nature and anatomical location of musculoskeletal injuries associated with amateur boxing.  Twenty nine (29) male amateur boxers who were in training camps preparatory to the 10th All African games and competed in an international friendly boxing tournament within the period formed the subjects for this study. The camp period lasted for ten (10) weeks altogether. Data concerning each individual athlete and the injuries sustained within the period were collected and recorded. Subjects age ranged between 21 and 27years (mean= 22.50 ± 2.72 years), weight ranged between 50 and 99.35kg (mean= 71.43± 13.42kg) and height ranged between 1.62 and 1.88m (mean= 1.75 ± 0.08m). They were all right hand dominant boxers whose competition weight categories ranged between light fly (49Kg) and heavy weight (91Kg).

The study design adopted a prospective cohort.

Descriptive statistics of mean and frequency counts were used in establishing the percentage of injury types, patterns and location.

A total of one hundred and thirteen (113) injuries ranging in severity from mild 58% to moderate (31%) were recorded within the period of the study.  Most injuries were recurrent in nature rather than acute and chronic. In relating injuries to body regions, upper extremities accounted for the most frequency with sixty-one (53.98%) as against 12.26% for the lower extremity and 33.76% for other body regions. Of the total injuries affecting the upper region, twenty-four (27.12%) were lacerations, eight (9.04%) were bruises and contusions on the face (supra-orbital ridges and zygomatic areas), recorded five (5.65%) while back injuries (neck and lumbar) and were two (12.26%). In terms of specific injury diagnosis, twenty-six (23%) of all the injuries sustained were strain/tendinitis affecting the shoulder (15%), elbow (5.3%) and wrist (2.7%) joints.  There were thirty-six (31%) joint sprain injuries affecting the interphalangeal (11.5%), metarcarpophalangeal (18.6%) and ankle (1.8%) joints. There were one (0.88%) incidence of metarcarpophalangeal joint dislocation, one (0.88%) incidence of nasal cartilage fracture, two (1.8%) cases of nasal injuries with bleeding and two (1.8%) incidences of fracture of the alveolar bone of the teeth. The average recorded number of missed days for most injuries were two (2) except for nasal injuries that kept the boxers off the training sessions for not less than three (3) weeks.

The findings in this study suggest that amateur boxing is injury prone and the patterns are typical of the sport. Most injuries resulted from overuse syndrome and were recurrent in nature and affected joints integrity. They arose from trauma due to the combat nature of the sport and occurred in various types and rates dissimilar to those found in other sports. Hence, their management required immediate and spontaneous care to prevent complications and deformities.

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