Basketball is a popular sport, especially among children and young adults. But the sport carries a risk for injury, whether played in an organized league or with friends on a local park court:
- More than 200,000 basketball-related injuries occur to young people under age 15 each year requiring treatment in hospital emergency departments.
- Basketball is the fourth leading cause of injury in both unorganized settings and organized community team sports.
- Injuries to basketball players are usually minor, mostly sprains and strains. The ankle and knee are the most common sites of injury, followed by the lower back, hand, and wrist.
- Eye injuries are frequent, usually as a result of being hit with fingers or elbows. Along with baseball, basketball is one of the leading causes of sports-related eye injuries in children.
- Along with baseball, basketball accounts for nearly half of all sports-related mouth injuries.
- At the high school and recreational levels, injuries occur more frequently during practice; college players are injured more often during games.
- Girls and women appear to have a slightly higher rate of injury than boys and men. And many of the injuries female players sustain are more serious than those of their male counterparts (e.g., knee injuries)
- According to a study by the National Athletic Trainers Association, two players on every high school basketball team in the country, regardless of gender, are likely to be injured during a season.
Types of Injuries
- Sprains (a partial or complete tear of a ligaments around a joint -- wrist, finger, knee, ankle, toe)(44.6% boys, 44.2% girls).
- General trauma (26.5% boys; 19.6% girls)
- Strains (a partial or complete tear of a muscles or tendons) (13.3% boys, 16.2% girls)
- Body part injured
- Ankle/foot (38.3% boys, 36.0% girls)
- Hip/thigh/leg (14.7% boys, 16.6% girls)
- Knee (10.3% boys, 13.0% girls)
- Forearm/wrist/hand (11.5% boys, 11.2% girls)
- Face/scalp (12.2% boys, 8.8% girls)