[Severe head injuries during Judo practice].

Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan.
No shinkei geka. Neurological surgery (Impact Factor: 0.13). 12/2011; 39(12):1139-47.
Source: PubMed


The goal of this study is to elucidate the characteristic features of Judo head injuries and to propose safety measures and a reaction manual on how to prevent and to deal with such accidents in Japan. Thirty cases of severe head injuries suffered during Judo practice were enrolled in this study. They have made insurance claims for damage compensation and inquiries about Judo accidents attributed to the All Japan Judo Federation, from 2003 to 2010. The average age of the patients was 16.5 year old. The incidence of injury showed 2 peaks in different academic grade levels; one is in the first year of junior high-school (30.0%, n=9) and the other is in senior high school (26.7%, n=8). Around half of them were beginners. Four cases (13.3%) had past history of head trauma or headache and dizziness before a catastrophic accident, suggesting the presence of a second impact. Lucid interval was observed in 25 cases (83.3%). Most patients (93.3%) suffered acute subdural hematoma associated with avulsion of a cerebral bridging vein. Of patients who underwent emergency removal of the hematoma, 15 patients (50%) died and 7 patients (23.3%) entered a persistent vegetative state. Based on these findings, we propose an emergency manual with safety measures for effectively preventing and treating Judo head injuries in an appropriate manner. To reduce the disastrous head injuries in Judo, the safety measures and an optimal action manual should be reconsidered and widely spread and accepted by society.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Few studies have documented catastrophic head and neck injuries in judo, but these injuries deserve greater attention. PURPOSE:To determine the features of catastrophic head and neck injuries in judo. STUDY DESIGN:Descriptive epidemiological study. METHODS:This study was based on the accident reports submitted to the All Japan Judo Federation's System for Compensation for Loss or Damage. A total of 72 judo injuries (30 head, 19 neck, and 23 other injuries) were reported between 2003 and 2010. The investigated parameters were mechanism of injury, age at time of injury, length of judo experience, diagnosis, and outcome. RESULTS:Among head injuries, 27 of 30 (90%) occurred in players younger than 20 years of age. The relationship between age, mechanism, and location of injury was more relevant when players younger than 20 years incurred head injury while being thrown (P = .0026). Among neck injuries, 13 of 19 (68%) occurred in players with more than 36 months of experience. The relationship between experience, mechanism, and location of injury was more relevant when experienced players incurred neck injury while executing an offensive maneuver (P = .0294). Acute subdural hematoma was diagnosed in 94% of head injuries. The outcomes of head injury were as follows: 15 players died; 5 were in a persistent vegetative state; 6 required assistance because of higher brain dysfunction, hemiplegia, or aphasia; and 4 had full recovery. Among neck injuries, 18 players were diagnosed with cervical spine injury, 11 of whom had fracture-dislocation of the cervical vertebra; there was also 1 case of atlantoaxial subluxation. The outcomes of neck injury were as follows: 7 players had complete paralysis, 7 had incomplete paralysis, and 5 had full recovery. CONCLUSION:Neck injuries were associated with having more experience and executing offensive maneuvers, whereas head injuries were associated with age younger than 20 years and with being thrown.
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    ABSTRACT: Mild traumatic brain injuries, if repeated, can cause permanent brain damage, or even death. I examined five published documents(three judicial decisions, one official injury report, and one book)to analyze incidents in which high school students who, while practicing judo, experienced acute subdural hematoma(ASDH)with grave outcomes, despite the fact that they had been examined by neurosurgeons. The five students, first-grade boy and girl of junior high school and two first-grade boys and one second-grade girl of senior high school, were hit on the head during extracurricular judo practice and were taken to the neurosurgery department of different hospitals. They were all novices or unskilled players. The initial diagnoses were ASDH in three cases, concussion in one, and headache in one. Although the surgeons, except in one case, prohibited the students from returning to play, the juveniles resumed judo practice soon. Some of them complained of continued headaches, but they kept practicing. Between 17 and 82 days after the first injury, they received the fateful hits to their heads, and they were brought to the emergency rooms. MRI and CT revealed ASDH in all;two of them died, and the other three remain in persistent vegetative state. Neurosurgeons should take the initiative to prevent severe brain injury of young athletes through collaborations with the athletes themselves, fellow athletes, family members, coaches, teachers, athletic directors, and other physicians. They should pay close attention to headaches and other signs and symptoms of concussion and prohibit the athletes from returning to play until they are confirmed to be symptom free for recommended periods, insisting that safety comes first.
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