Nitsch A, Marx H, Fischer CS, Bakir S, Ekkernkamp A, Wassilew GI, Haralambiev L. Prevalence of cauliflower ear in high level judoka. Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 13;13(1):17351.
Judo is an Olympic sport, and the way of its performing can lead to repetitive blunt injuries on head and ears. The chronic consequences of such traumata on the auricle are the formation of so-called cauliflower ear. This condition is painful, can lead to interruptions in the training process and long-term consequences for the athlete’s health. There is limited knowledge of epidemiological data about cauliflower ear deformities in judo. Evaluation of the prevalence of cauliflower ear among judokas based on their profile pictures on the international judo federation was performed. A large cohort of judo athletes from around the world was studied. Two different classifications for the severity of ear deformities were used. Statistical calculations of the collected data and correlations to different parameters were performed. Images of 1632 top athletes were evaluated in the study. Ear deformities were found in 55.5% of the judokas. There was gender-specific differences. Male athletes were affected much more often than female athletes. In addition, ear deformities were more pronounced in male athletes. A correlation was found between the age of the athletes and the presence of an ear deformity. It has also been shown that judokas with a high world ranking are more likely to have an ear deformity. Ear deformities are a common consequence of injury among leading judo athletes. The current study represents the largest and high heterogeny cohort ever conducted on the prevalence of cauliflower ear in judoka. Knowledge of the prevalence of cauliflower ear in judoka based on reliable data from this study, may be important prerequisites for further studies on the impact of this traumatic consequence on training preparation and judoka health.
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