Common Basketball Injuries

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s basketball season in Indiana. For many Hoosiers, basketball is a favorite sport to play and watch. As the season takes off it’s important to remember that there are dangers involved and a risk of injury for those who take part in the running, jumping and fast-paced demands of the sport.

According to OrthoIndy sports medicine specialist, Dr. Scott Gudeman, the most common basketball injuries he sees include knee sprains, patellar tendonitis (also known as Jumpers’ Knee), ACL tears, ankle sprains and shoulder labral tears.

“Overall the most common injury among basketball players is probably ankle sprains,” said Dr. Gudeman. “Oftentimes, ankle sprains occur when a basketball player lands on another player’s foot causing the ankle to twist.”

However, it is also common for knee injuries to occur without contact. Similar to knee injuries in many sports, making a hard cut can cause the knee to buckle and result in an injury, such as an ACL tear.

“Most injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough history and exam of the patient,” said Dr. Gudeman. “Swelling and pain around the injured area also helps me determine the severity of the injury.”

In most cases, basketball injuries can be treated non-operative with rest, ice and rehabilitation. However, more serious injuries may require surgery.

“There are many variables that determine how long it will take for a basketball player to return to the court,” said Dr. Gudeman. “It all depends on the seriousness of the injury, the course of treatment and the level of motivation of the athlete.”

Dr. Gudeman suggests proper pre-season conditioning to avoid injuries, especially overuse injuries, during the basketball season. It’s also important for an athlete to remember that if he or she is injured, it’s essential to let the injury heal completely before getting back on the court; this reduces the risk of re-injury and usually leads to improved performance.

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