Cauliflower ear among Finnish high-level male wrestlers and judokas is prevalent and symptomatic deformity

Our research aimed to study the prevalence, concerns and treatment practices related to cauliflower ear among Finnish wrestlers and judokas. In total 32 Finnish wrestlers and 31 judokas completed a questionnaire at training sessions or at a competition. All participants were adults competing at the national or international levels. We also took lateral digital photographs of participants' ears. A senior author graded the overall appearance of the auricles on a scale from 0 to 5 (0 = normal auricle, 5 = extreme cauliflower ear). Cauliflower ear was more prevalent among male athletes (84%, 46/55) than female athletes (0%, 0/8, p<0.001). Almost all (96%) had sought treatment for an auricular haematoma. The most prevalent treatment modality was needle aspiration (96%). Most (76%) had received treatment from individuals not representing the healthcare profession. Only one athlete reported receiving successful treatment. No complications from treatment were reported. Almost all participants (96%) reported some symptom from the cauliflower ear, typically pain. None regretted their cauliflower ear(s) and 41% of athletes with cauliflower ear considered it desirable. Cauliflower ear is a common and symptomatic deformity among high-level Finnish wrestlers and judokas. Despite the symptoms, it is accepted and sometimes even desired among the athletes.
© Copyright 2019 Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Subjects: wrestling judo high performance sport elite sport male ear health damage
Notations: combat sports biological and medical sciences
DOI: 10.1111/sms.13530
Published in: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Published: 2019
Issue: in print
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced