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Boxing Injuries

Boxing is a very attractive & exciting sports but is also associated with higher chance of injury. The Difficulties of finding out exact death rates are affected, for instance, by differences in regulation between amateur and professional boxing, illegal boxing events, the way regulative bodies worldwide function, lack of long term studies and medical inaccuracy in relating apparent minor injury to later medical events.

Injuries Resulting from Boxing

Head Injury
Boxing may account for fewer deaths than some other sports but the numbers of boxers suffering brain damage are believed to be much higher than recorded.

It is not surprising that head injury is so common in boxing. It is estimated that when a boxer gets a direct blow to the head it is like being hit by a 12lb padded, wooden mallet traveling at 20mph!

Being hit on the head can cause fractures to the bone of the head and face and tissue damage in the brain. A blow can damage the surface of the brain, tear nerve networks, cause lesions, bleeding and sometimes produce large clots within the brain.

The degree of damage suffered by boxers will depend on professional or amateur status. Professional boxers suffer from the cumulative effect of damage to the brain, often resulting in punch drunk' syndrome. The evidence of damage suffered by amateur boxers less clear cut, a number of studies found no evidence of cumulative brain damage.

Body Damage from Boxing
Cuts, bruises, broken teeth, dental problems, broken ribs, internal bleeding damage to internal organs.

Eye Injuries from Boxing
Although protected by very hard bone on the side eyes are very vulnerable to direct hits from below. Damage to the eyes in boxing can result from direct contact or from shock waves set up in fluid contents. Depending on the force of the blow damage may result in injury to the retina, retinal detachment, retinal hemorrhage, etc.

Ex-boxers more Vulnerable to Disease and Deterioration in Old Age
Ex-boxers are more vulnerable to natural aging of the brain and diseases of brain. They may be more likely to suffer diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Boxers' brains are smaller and surface grey matter is thinner. The ventricles within the brain enlarged because of the decrease in the brain's white matter.

The more severe boxing injuries like brain trauma and detached retina are risks that boxers decide to take when entering the ring and at the same time are risks, which with they hope they are never faced.

Since amateur boxers have more padding, protection and go fewer rounds than the pros do, it is the professional boxer who is most at risk for boxing injuries. Besides minor injuries, head and brain injuries are the most common injuries that boxers face. When a boxer is knocked out or "out of his feet" he has suffered a concussion. Over time, multiple punches to the head can cause a case of "punch drunkenness" in a fighter who exhibits signs of inhibited thinking ability, headaches, blurred vision, or memory loss.

Another common head trauma boxing injury involves receiving a blow that causes a detached retina. Having a detached retina involves surgical repair to the eye and abstinence from boxing. The most famous case is that of "Sugar" Ray Leonard who decided to continue boxing despite having eye surgery and risk blindness with every bout. Some other boxing injuries involving the head include broken cheekbone, jaw, eye sockets and cauliflower ear.

Boxing injuries related to the abdomen are also quite common with professional boxers. Broken ribs, ruptured spleens and damaged livers are all more common than one would think. Besides being extremely painful and taking a long time to heal, a broken rib can be quite dangerous, in that, it can actually puncture a lung. Having a ruptured spleen is also quite dangerous since the spleen will bleed quite profusely when damaged and can lead to a quick death if not attended to promptly. The liver is a more robust organ than the spleen, but a direct hit can cause internal bleeding as well. It is important that immediate medical attention be sought if liver damage is suspected.

Shoulder, hand and wrist injuries often occur to boxers inside the ring and while training. A heavy bag injury or injury due to a sparing partner can cause a significant setback to a boxer's career. In addition, freak accidents to these prone areas can lead to premature termination of a boxing career.

Boxing injuries come in many different varieties. From cuts, scrapes and bruises to brain damage and death and everything in-between, boxing by its very nature is the most violent of sports. Every precaution needs to be taken to make sure that boxing injuries don't occur and when they do, that they receive immediate medical attention to lessen the severity as much as possible.

       
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