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March Madness- Common Basketball Injuries

Common Basketball Injuries
Common Basketball Injuries

With March Madness starting this week, let’s take a look at the medical side of the sport. Our blog this month concentrates on common injuries seen in this great game that is played, watched, and celebrated worldwide.  Check out the associated videos as well, where we will dive a little deeper into specifics of these injuries, how it affects the athlete, possible long-term effects, and common treatments.  We hope you enjoy this month’s topic.   

Ankle Sprains: 

Ankle sprains are perhaps the most common injury in basketball. Jumping, pivoting, and sudden changes in direction put immense stress on the ankles, making them vulnerable to sprains (injuries to the ligaments surrounding a joint). These injuries occur when said ligaments surrounding the ankle are stretched or torn. Proper warm-up routines, wearing supportive footwear, and practicing balance exercises can help reduce the risk of ankle sprains. 

Knee Injuries: 

Basketball involves a lot of running, jumping, and quick stops, which can take a toll on the knees. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, meniscus tears, and patellar tendonitis are among the most common knee injuries in basketball. Strengthening the muscles around the knees, maintaining proper form during movements, and using knee braces for support can help prevent these injuries. 

Patellar Tendonitis: 

Also known as jumper's knee, patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that results from repetitive jumping and landing. It causes pain and inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Rest, ice, stretching, and proper footwear are essential for managing patellar tendonitis and preventing it from worsening. 

Shoulder Injuries: 

Basketball players are susceptible to shoulder injuries, particularly rotator cuff strains and dislocations. Repeated overhead motions, such as shooting and passing, can lead to overuse injuries in the shoulders. Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, improving shoulder flexibility, and practicing proper shooting techniques can help reduce the risk of shoulder injuries. 

Finger Injuries: 

Jammed fingers and fractures are common occurrences in basketball, often resulting from ball handling, passing, or attempting to steal the ball. Wearing protective finger splints or tape can provide support and prevent further injury to the fingers. Additionally, practicing proper hand placement and strengthening grip strength can help minimize the risk of finger injuries. 


While less common than other injuries, concussions can occur in basketball, especially during collisions or falls. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Immediate medical attention is necessary if a concussion is suspected, and players should follow proper concussion protocols before returning to play. 


Preventing basketball injuries requires a combination of proper conditioning, technique, and equipment. Players need to listen to their bodies, prioritize rest and recovery, and address any discomfort or pain early on. Additionally, staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, and incorporating cross-training exercises can contribute to overall injury prevention and performance enhancement. In conclusion, while basketball injuries are an unfortunate reality of the sport, they can be minimized through proper preparation and precautionary measures. By understanding the common types of injuries and implementing preventive strategies, players of any level can continue to enjoy the game safely and competitively for years to come. Stay informed, stay prepared, and above all, play smart on the court.

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