Three Tips for Avoiding Common Basketball Injuries to the Knee

Kevin Freedman, MD November 20th, 2018

The Most Common Basketball Injuries and How to Prevent Them!

With winter quickly settling in, winter sports injuries might be a concern for you or your family. Basketball is a popular winter sport and involves healthy activity and exercise, however, there are some common basketball injuries that you should be aware of and take action to prevent. Basketball knee injuries are the most common form of injury that your loved ones might be susceptible to. However, ligament tears, jammed fingers, and concussions are also common injuries that basketball players should take action to avoid. Awareness is your first line of defense. Let Rothman Orthopaedic Institute help prepare you for an injury-free basketball season.

Knee Injuries

Basketball knee injuries are the most kind of common injury on the court. The knee is crucial because it supports most of your body weight. This means it sustains a lot of wear and tear and can easily be injured. Common types of injuries include:

  • Ligament Tears (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL)

  • Fractures

  • Dislocations

Knee fractures usually occur in the patella, the bone that is commonly referred to as the kneecap. Parts of the femur and tibia that make up the knee joint are also areas susceptible to being injured. A dislocation occurs when the bones of the knee are forced out of place either completely or partially. Both types of injuries are caused by sports-related trauma injuries, such as:

  • A high impact blow

  • A quick, sharp change in direction

  • Impact from a fall

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears or sprains are one of the most common types of knee injury related to sports activity. The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, as well as provides stability in the knee for rotational movement. Participating in sports like basketball put you at higher risk for an ACL tear or sprain. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be required.

There are three levels of ACL injuries:

  • Grade 1: This is the mildest type of sprain, where the ligament is just stretched and the knee bones maintain stability.

  • Grade 2: These sprains stretch the ligament to the point where the tendon is loose and cannot keep all the parts of the knee together. This level of sprain is considered to be a tear.

  • Grade 3: These sprains occur when the entire ligament tears. Complete tears of the ACL are the most common; partial tears are uncommon. A complete tear will usually require surgery.

These injuries may have you feeling concerned, but there are some preventative measures you and your family can take to help to reduce the risk of these common basketball injuries.

  1. Make sure you are in good overall physical shape before playing intense sports, like basketball. It is good to have a balanced fitness plan that incorporates stretching, strength training, and flexibility.

  2. Before playing basketball, it is important to stretch out your muscles. This warms up the muscles; fewer tears and injuries occur when your muscles are properly warmed up.

  3. Staying hydrated is also very important. Even slight dehydration can inhibit physical activity. Make sure you are drinking the proper amount of water to compensate for the water lost during sweating.

It is very important to be aware of both common injuries in basketball and prevention methods to better prepare athletes. Being prepared and aware of what to expect from your loved ones playing winter sports, such as basketball, is incredibly important.

Unfortunately, sometimes injuries cannot be avoided. If you are in need of medical attention for your basketball injury, look no further than Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute provides specialized orthopaedic care from some of the best sports medicine physicians in the nation. They oversee more than 80,000 injuries and perform 10,000 surgeries annually and each physician is an expert in her or his field. Please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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