Finger Injuries in Judo

  • Nicole Badur
  • Riccardo Luchetti
  • Rainer Ganschow


Judo is a popular martial art and Olympic sport practiced in nearly every country of the world. With the increasing popularity and professionalism, skills of judo players have been improved together with the increasing frequency and seriousness of injuries. Judo is considered among the sports with the highest overall injury rate during competition. The upper extremity is more susceptible to injuries than the lower extremity. Depending on the definition of injury, accounting also for minor soft tissue trauma, the fingers are found to be the most common injured body part. Injuries to the fingers predominantly result from grip fighting, being thrown, and attempting to throw or during groundwork. Most acute incidents are lacerations on epidermal level, sprains, and strains, while more severe injuries as ligament or tendon ruptures, finger dislocations, and fractures are less frequently observed. Infections may result from superficial skin lesions. Repetitive microtrauma and overuse can lead to finger polyarthrosis. Most finger injuries are of minor severity and professional treatment is often not necessary. The athlete is rarely impaired in his judo career or daily living. Prevention of finger injuries includes taping of the exposed interphalangeal joints to protect the fingers from abrasions and being twisted. Constant adjustments of the official judo rules are important to exclude dangerous actions and techniques that present a high risk for injuries. Regular breakfall and throwing training should take place under closed supervision, especially for beginners and young judo players until a technique is mastered safely. Building up strength and conditioning also has a significant role in injury prevention.


Judo Martial arts Finger injuries Grip fighting Throwing technique Breakfall Injury prevention 



We would like to thank Karsten Lange for providing many of the photographs.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Badur
    • 1
  • Riccardo Luchetti
    • 2
  • Rainer Ganschow
    • 3
  1. 1.Hand Surgery RosenklinikRapperswilSwitzerland
  2. 2.Rimini Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation CenterRiminiItaly
  3. 3.Pediatrics and Sports MedicineUniversity Hospital BonnBonnGermany

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