28 Jan What’s Up With Basketball? Unique Injuries Associated With Playing Hoops
As a father of four very active and athletic children, I’ve seen my fair share of sports related injuries in my own family. My three girls are all swimmers competing at the club, high school and college level, while my son is a middle school basketball player. Both sports have unique injuries, but basketball has injuries directly related to my area of expertise.
So what’s the most common injury in the NBA? Ankle sprains! ( ) As a sport in general, almost one in four basketball players sustain some sort of injury each season, and of that number, nearly 50% of the injuries are foot and ankle injuries.
Now, for me, THAT’S my three-pointer – treating these types of injuries is right up my alley.
Along with ankle sprains in basketball, players can sustain ruptures to tendons, like the Achilles tendon (hello Kobe Bryant), foot sprains, fractures (particularly the ankle and base of the 5th metatarsal), heel pain (heel spur/plantar fasciitis) and toe injuries (turf toe).
With any impact sport, especially basketball, the constant running, starting, stopping, quick changes in direction and jumping place significant stress upon the feet.
Yao Ming, for example, was a 7′ 6″ superstar from China playing for the Houston Rockets who suffered from multiple foot fractures, osteomyelitis and eventually a navicular stress fracture that ended his career.
To prevent foot injury, it’s important to wear shoes with a great deal of shock absorption and stability. There’s plenty of hype in the ‘kicks business’ with cosmetic flash, color and who’s sponsoring the shoe, but ultimately shock absorption, comfort and stability are what’s important. Function over fashion. Boring I know, but it’s possible to find both.
Does your ankle feel loose and unstable? Do you feel like your ankle is going to give out? If so, you may be a chronic ankle sprainer. If conservative treatment has failed (bracing, physical therapy with proprioceptive exercises, etc.) the Modified Brostrom repair is the answer. Ask about it. For those that do have the surgery, like Steph Curry, the success rate is well over 90%.
Whether you are a professional athlete or not, an injury to your feet and ankles can be quite unsettling. Ankle injuries are very common in basketball and difficult to avoid. Rushing back from an injury is never a good idea and is a common reason for an acute injury becoming a chronic injury. The good news is players can fully recover from ankle sprains and return to full performance on the court.
Give my office a call, today – we’ll be sure to help you put your best foot forward, again!