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Our physiotherapists are here to help with your basketball injuries

The most common injury sites for basketball athletes have been recorded as the ankle, knee and lower leg (Murphy et al, 2003).  Acute and overuse injuries can occur in basketball however overuse injuries are more common in high level players.

Injuries from basketball often occur as a result of contact with other players, falls, pivoting, change of direction movements, speeding up and slowing down in play (Cohen and Metzl, 2000).

A five year study by Hickey et al (1997) of Australian elite female basketball athletes found the most frequent diagnoses were lateral ankle ligament sprains (12.1%), patellar tendinopathy (6.7%), lower limb stress fractures (5.4%), finger sprains (4.9%) and mechanical low back pain (4.5%).


Ankle Injuries

The player with a previous history of ankle injury is five times more likely to injure their ankle.  With regards to shoes, players that wear basketball shoes with air cells in the heel are four times more likely to injure their ankle compared with athletes who wear shoes without air cells.

The use of ankle braces for support post ankle sprain has been evaluated and shown to be effective.  A systematic review concluded that participants with a history of previous ankle sprain can reduce the risk of another ankle sprain with use of a semi-rigid ankle brace. Taping is also used as a support for ankle sprains but the effectiveness will depend on the experience of the person taping the joint.  It is suggested that taping may enhance proprioceptive function of the ankle through improving sensorimotor function.


Knee Injuries

Knee injuries in basketball players include acute and chronic injuries.  Acute injuries include anterior cruciate ligament rupture and meniscus injuries. Patellar tendinopathy is the most common chronic injury.

Patella tendinopathy has a high incidence in sports that involve high speed and power demands as is required in basketball.  Basketball (~32%) has the second highest prevalence of patella tendinopathy with volleyball (~45%) claiming the greatest incidence.


Back Injuries

Back injuries appear to be more common in female elite athletes (McKay 2001, Hickey et al, 1997) and are most often diagnosed as mechanical facet joint related low back pain, followed by lumbar disc injury, and spondylolysis.


Lower Leg Injuries

Lower leg chronic injuries include medial tibial stress syndrome and tibial/fibular stress fractures. Acute injuries commonly involve the calf muscle.


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