Wrestlers with Limb Deficiencies: A Descriptive Study

Michael R. Baria, Marisa J. Terry, Sherilyn W. Driscoll, Karen L. Andrews, David B. Soma, Cara C. Prideaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if wrestling is a safe, positive athletic option for limb-deficient individuals. Design: This descriptive study consisted of an opportunity sample of limb-deficient wrestlers, aged 5 yrs and older with at least 1 yr of experience. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding health, satisfaction, and achievements. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Results: Sixteen male wrestlers reported nine below-the-knee, five above-the-knee, and three below-the-elbow limb deficiencies. There were nine congenital deficiencies and seven amputations acquired during childhood. Two individuals won National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, and seven competed collegiately. All reported a positive impact on quality-of-life, 87% reported no difficulty finding acceptance with the team, and 50% experienced wrestling-related residual limb complications. Associations between (1) residual limb complications before and during wrestling and (2) skin breakdown before and during wrestling did not demonstrate statistical significance (P = 0.30 and 0.1189, respectively). Conclusions: This study suggests that wrestling is a safe, positive sport for limb-deficient individuals, that it fosters competitive equality between impaired and nonimpaired participants, and that it has a positive impact on health and quality-of-life. The incidence of residual limb complications warrants monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1057
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Amputation
  • Athletics
  • Congenital Limb Deformities
  • Wrestling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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