BJJ Injuries Over Time /// By: Dr. Ethan M. Kreiswirth, PhD, ATC
Shot credit: Lance Emery Photography
Over the years, nothing really surprises me anymore regarding joint dislocations, blood, or unconscious fighters. If I were to recall what has challenged me as a medical provider, I’d have to say, head injuries, chest pain, and pace makers in the Master level fighters. As a black belt, I understand the competitive nature of BJJ and the willingness to push past your threshold, but the heart and the brain are the two organs you must respect and think about regarding repercussions for injuries to them. Concussions, as well as a predisposition to heart attacks, should be recognized and treated consistently to better educate the fighter, in addition to the welfare of the fighter in the long term.
While I have relocated too many joints to recall on fighters, it’s the joints that don’t relocate that create the biggest hardship. From toes, knees, shoulders, elbows, fingers and jaws, most will relocate if you’re on scene quickly. There was one instance, years back at Worlds, where a competitor was fighting a rear naked choke, and the pressure was so great, in addition to him blocking the choke with a tucked chin, that his mandible dislocated. That injury sticks in my head, because of the disfigurement he sustained. After applying traction and an inferior glide to the jaw, the temporo-madibular joints related with massive force. It was pretty awesome to feel and see. He thanked me many times that day!
Photo credit: IBJJF
Play safe, play smart!
Dr. Ethan M. Kreiswirth, PhD, ATC
Kreiswirth Sports Medicine Systems