7 Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball is a rapid paced sport, so it’s no surprise that many basketball athletes are sports medicine patients. A bad landing or a collision can bench you for a long time. Let’s review the injuries orthopedic doctors see most often.

Jumper’s Knee

Since basketball players are usually flying through the air, they also need to land, which stresses their knees. Patellar Tendonitis occurs as a result, when the tendons supporting the knee incur small tears. Treatment includes rest, ice, and medications like ibuprofen.

Ankle Sprain

Twisting, turning and running can easily result in an ankle sprain, as the ligaments of the ankle have stretched and potentially torn. Sports medicine professionals see ankle sprains that are more painful and difficult to heal than a fracture would be. Brace the ankle and keep it elevated and iced.

Ruptured Achilles

In the back of your ankle is your Achilles tendon, a very important tendon connecting your heel to your calf muscle. Abrupt motion, such as pushing off to jump, can rupture your Achilles tendon. This very painful injury often requires surgery or extended immobilization of your foot.

Torn Meniscus

Your meniscus is the cartilage within your knee. Without it, your thigh bone, shin bone, and knee cap grind together or your knee can be painful and unstable. Sports medicine professionals usually fix this issue surgically, otherwise it is handled through pain management and rest.

Finger Jams

Going up for a layup, defending, or dribbling your way down the court may result in collisions with other players or a fall. Bracing yourself for a fall or having your fingers jammed by another player’s body can be quite painful, and is treated with ice and rest.

Torn ACL

The ligament inside your knee is called the anterior cruciate ligament, and a sudden turn may tear or rupture it. Not only is this a terribly painful injury, but it may end your sports career. Surgery followed by extensive rehab is the typical treatment.

Strained Muscles

Any time you are involved in physical activity, you have a chance of straining or “pulling” a muscle. Prevent this by thoroughly warming up, and treat  those that do occur with rest and anti-inflammatory medications.

Basketball players are exposed to orthopedic hazards routinely. Be sure to warm up well, practice good form, and consult your sports medicine professional at the first sign of injury or discomfort in your joints or muscles.

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