Severity and pattern of injuries caused by Swiss wrestling (Schwingen): first retrospective study at a level I University Emergency Department in Switzerland

Maliachovas, Nikolaos K; Klukowska-Rötzler, Jolanta; Sauter, Thomas; Lehmann, Beat; Krummrey, Gert; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis (2018). Severity and pattern of injuries caused by Swiss wrestling (Schwingen): first retrospective study at a level I University Emergency Department in Switzerland. BMJ open sport & exercise medicine, 4(1), e000270. BMJ Publishing Group 10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000270

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This article addresses typical injury patterns related to the traditional Swiss folk wrestling, 'Schwingen'. This is a fight between two competitors with its own rules, grips and throws. A variety of injuries have been occasionally reported. The aim of this study was to characterise all cases of Schwingen injuries treated in the University Hospital of Bern from January 2006 to July 2016.

To assess the frequency, type and outcome of Schwingen injuries, database search was performed of all inpatient and outpatient cases related to Schwingen that were admitted to Bern University Hospital from January 2006 to December 2016.

A total of 32 such patients could be identified. Apart from a single woman, all patients were male. 31 of the 32 players were Swiss. One patient was admitted to the intermediate care unit, eight patients underwent surgery, two were hospitalised for further treatment and two were given a plaster. 17 other patients were given medications such as painkillers. One was dismissed without further treatment and another one left the hospital on his own. Typical injury patterns varied from simple lesions to distortions and fractures as well as head injuries and other neurological complications.

The majority of injuries caused by Schwingen are not life threatening. Nevertheless, there is always the potential of head injuries and neurological deficits. Apart from the economic loss due to treatment costs and sick leave, these injuries can be disabling for life. It should therefore be obligatory for all players to evaluate preventive measures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center

UniBE Contributor:

Klukowska-Rötzler, Jolanta, Sauter, Thomas Christian, Lehmann, Beat, Krummrey, Gert, Exadaktylos, Aristomenis


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BMJ Publishing Group




Romana Saredi

Date Deposited:

16 Apr 2018 14:49

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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