What Are The Most Common Injuries In Basketball?

Playing basketball can help lift your mood and give you a great cardiovascular workout. According to a 2019 study out of the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, it is more fun for young athletes compared to individual fitness activities. According to data from 2011, the fast-paced sport is enjoyed worldwide and popular in countries like the U.S., Australia, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines (via Top End Sports). 

Like most sports, those who play basketball are susceptible to injuries. Whether shooting hoops for leisure or competition, being aware of common injuries may actually help you prevent them. Unfortunately, Rothman Orthopaedics noted in 2020 that basketball has seen an increase in injuries, which may be due to the advanced speed and larger size of the players.

There are some injuries that players are more likely to suffer while running the court, but those of the hand, wrist, and forearm are less common than others. According to data published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2014, only 11% of basketball-related injuries affected the wrist, hands, and forearm. As dribbling and shooting are two major functions of the sport, this is certainly surprising. Players can attempt to prevent these types of injuries by avoiding banging into other players when possible and keeping the ball in view, specifically when catching and passing (per Excelsior Orthopaedics).

Knee and ankle injuries are common

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, hockey and football aren't the only sports in which concussions occur. The Inquirer reports that basketball players do get concussions, with data finding that 3.6% of men and 6.5% of women suffer the head injury during games. After taking an elbow to the face or crashing into another player, concussions can happen. MomsTeam reports that eye injuries are quite common in basketball, by way of a finger or elbow poke.

The most common injuries sustained when playing basketball, however, are ankle sprains and knee injuries (via MomsTeam). Rothman Orthopaedics shares that knee injuries, such as ACL tears and fractures, have been the cause of hiatus for many NBA players. The Mayo Clinic states that strength training, practicing proper jumping, and resting are all helpful in protecting the knees from injuries on the court. 

According to a 17-year study published in the Journal of Sports Health in 2010, lateral ankle sprains were the most frequently reported injury. This can happen by rolling the ankle the wrong way, getting stepped on, or falling. Excelsior Orthopaedics suggests that proper footwear and added ankle support, such as a brace or wrap, can help protect the ankle.