Which are some of the most common injuries in basketball?

Which are some of the most common injuries in basketball?

Lenah Ann
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:20 PM

In America, basketball is among the most popular sports, particularly for children and young adults. However, playing a game that you enjoy carries risks of injuries. Even with professional athletes, accidents do occur when practised recreationally or in tournaments. What are some of the most common injuries in basketball?

What injuries are most common in basketball?
Which are some of the most common injuries in basketball? Photo: Alexey Demidov (Modified by author)
Source: UGC

You might not be able to play again if your injury is overly severe. Injuries to the knee, for example, are more frequent than others in this kind of sport. Usually, the lower body is afflicted. Here are the most common knee and leg injuries in basketball.

What injuries are most common in basketball?

Of course, nobody ever anticipates getting any kind of fracture whatsoever. Leave alone a broken hand or a bruised knee. Some of these players often get severe fractures to the point of missing out on their career seasons. According to various online sources, here are some of the most common sports injuries in basketball.

6. Ankle Sprains

Basketball-related ankle and foot injuries account for nearly half of all injuries. These players are vulnerable to injury for various reasons, including rolling an ankle, awkward landings, and being stepped on.

Common sports injuries in basketball
A male athlete reaching for his sprained ankle. Photo: Kindel Media
Source: UGC

A tear in the ankle ligaments is known as an ankle sprain. These ligaments attach the ankle to other bones in the leg and foot or hold a portion of the ankle in place. Although relatively common, the injury is painful.

This technique may handle most injuries without a trip to the doctor's office. Physical treatment could also be beneficial, depending on the sprain's severity. However, if one has any of the following symptoms, going to the emergency room may be preferable:

  • Pain directly on top of the outside bone of the foot
  • Inability to walk a couple of steps

5. Thigh bruises

Common sports injuries in basketball
Jaden Ivey lays on the floor after getting injured during the mens Big Ten tournament college game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on 13 March 2022 in Indianapolis, IN. Photo: Zach Bolinger
Source: Getty Images

One of the worst injuries a basketball player may experience is taking a knee to the thigh. As a result, more athletes are using compression gear, including thigh padding. The muscle can tighten up and bruise if a rival player strikes the thigh with enough force.

An athlete can usually continue to play when injured. Deep tissue massage performed by a qualified professional may assist in loosening up the muscle. Ice, compression, elevation, and rest are all part of the treatment.

4. Knee injuries

Basketball involves a lot of stop-and-go and cutting movements, which can damage the knee ligaments and menisci. This one should not surprise anyone who regularly plays or watches basketball.

Common knee injuries in basketball
Basketball player getting an injury and medical staff checking him at the court. Photo: Andresr
Source: Getty Images

Most frequently occurring after a blow to the outside of the knee, medial collateral ligament injuries are manageable with ice, bracing, and a slow return to exercise. A more severe injury that can result from a sudden change in direction and landing for the bounce is an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

3. Jammed fingers

Jammed fingers are painful and quite common. They frequently happen when an extended finger strikes the ball head-on without bending.

A finger jam of this nature can cause both acute discomfort and swelling. This injury is painful, but it is not dangerous. Jammed fingers usually get better independently, without needing medical attention or a trip to the emergency room.

The player may resume play by applying ice and buddy-taping the injured finger to the finger next to it.

2. Concussions

Not just in basketball but in all sports, concussions account for 15% of all injuries. A concussion is a brain injury after a whiplash-like physical trauma to the head or neck.

Most concussions brought on by athletics may be treated by an athletic trainer alone or in conjunction with a physical therapist. A doctor and other medical specialists may collaborate with an athletic trainer. Here are a few scenarios in basketball when concussions might happen:

Common hand injuries in basketball
Mike Miller leaves the court after suffering a concussion during a scramble for the ball in the first quarter of a game on 25 November 2005 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo: Joe Murphy
Source: Getty Images
  • A sportsperson strikes their head on the rough gym floor.
  • A head-to-head clash between two players
  • Elbow-to-head contact

1. Stress fractures

Stress fractures can result from over training hence a sudden increase in activity level, or both. Basketball players' feet and lower legs are the most frequently affected by stress fractures (tibia). After being diagnosed, it is advised to remain immobile and avoid carrying heavy weight.

How can basketball injuries be prevented?

Since basketball players are prone to injuries, here are some measures they can take to help prevent unnecessary fractures and bruises.

Common knee injuries in basketball
Dikembe Mutumbo after a stress fracture on 26 February 2008 in Houston, Texas. Photo: Bill Baptist
Source: Getty Images
  1. Getting a pre-season physical check-up and adhere to the doctor's injury prevention advice regarding basketball.
  2. Do not wait until you are thirsty to hydrate. Always stay hydrated.
  3. Always pay attention to environmental advice to prevent heat illnesses, especially in scorching and humid conditions.
  4. Maintain a healthy level of fitness since injured athletes have lower healing time.

Basketball injuries are inevitable and will always be a part of the sport. However, the time lost due to injuries may be reduced so that players can achieve their objectives for the upcoming seasons by undergoing the proper pre-season training and conditioning and the required rehab following injuries.

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Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.