Basketball Injury Facts
The five most common injuries that occur in basketball are ankle sprains, finger sprains, finger fractures, knee sprains and facial lacerations.
In the United States, high school basketball players are over two times more likely to sustain injury in practice than during a basketball game, so awareness of injuries during practice should be heightened.
Concussions in basketball
Concussions are the third most common form of basketball injury in the NCAA. Immediate evaluation is required for basketball players that are showing signs and symptoms of concussion. You should not return a symptomatic player to competition. There are dedicated return to play protocol’s for players with concussions. Dr. Kevin Mangum treats concussions and has created an information concussion page for you to review.
Jammed fingers are very common in basketball and they are usually caused by direct trauma from the ball, opponent or rim of the basket. These usually involve damage to the collateral ligaments of the finger. Jammed fingers may need x-rays to rule out broken bones and fractures. Buddy taping the injured finger to the adjacent finger may be a good solution to help with healing.
Sometimes tendons in our fingers can rupture or break from severe force that are placed on the fingers during basketball. One type is called a jersey finger. The most common finger to be injured for this mechanism is the fourth finger. The finger is extended forcefully, causing a rupture of the flexor tendons that curl the finger. This injury requires a hand surgeon to reattach the tendon.
Achilles tendon injuries
Achilles tendon ruptures are a significant injury that can be devastating. Fortunately, there are good treatment options for this condition. Achilles tendon ruptures usually happen to athletes while they’re in their 30 and 40s. It usually happens due to a quick pull on the Achilles tendon. Some patients hear a pop or feel a snap in their ankle. Ultrasound and MRI are great diagnostic modalities that can help diagnose a tear. Dr. Kevin Mangum uses both diagnostic ultrasound and MRI to help his basketball athletes. There are surgical and nonsurgical options for Achilles tendon ruptures. Please make an appointment with Dr. Kevin Mangum, so you can discuss these treatment options.
Knee Inuries in Basketball
Knee injuries are the second most common basketball related injury after the ankle sprain. Common injuries that occur are anterior cruciate ligament injuries and jumpers knee.
Jumpers knee, patellar tendinopathy, occurs when there is repetitive vertical jumping and squatting in basketball players. The patellar tendon gets inflamed and irritated. Ultrasound and MRI are good diagnostic test that can help diagnose jumpers knee. Treatment usually includes ice, rest, ibuprofen or similar medication and activity modification. Cho-Pat straps to help offload patellar tendon forces can be helpful. Quad and hamstring stretching and eccentric quad strengthening exercises have been helpful for this. Dr. Kevin Mangum does PRP and prolotherapy injections to help stimulate repair of the irritated tendon. Corticosteroid injections are not recommended for this problem. Dr. Kevin Mangum treats knee related basketball injuries.
Inversion ankle sprain
Inversion ankle injuries are the most common injury in basketball at all levels. There are three main ligaments on the outside of the ankle that are injured while rolling your ankle or twisting your ankle inward. Ankle sprains are graded, and they correlate to which ligament was injured. Ankle injuries can include swelling, tenderness, laxity and bruising over the ankle. It is best to be evaluated by a sports medicine physician to make sure you receive proper care. Radiographs or x-rays may be needed to rule out certain types of fractures and ligament injuries. Most ankle sprains are nonsurgical. Some ankle sprains may need immobilization in a walking boot. Key aspects of recovery include early mobilization, strengthening, proprioception training, and ankle muscle strengthening exercises.
Preventing ankle injuries are an important consideration. Some studies are mixed about ankle bracing and taping. One study of American high school basketball players found that using a lace up ankle brace reduced the incidence of acute ankle injuries by more than three times. A minimum of 20 minutes a week on proprioception and balance exercises has also shown to significantly decreased rates of ankle injuries. Also a warm-up program has been found to be helpful in reducing ankle sprains. Dr. Kevin Mangum treats patients with ankle related basketball injuries.