Common Basketball Injuries

Athletes that play basketball are prone to injuries common to their sport due to the risks of that sport and the repetitive motions of the sport.  With basketball season now in full swing, Dr. Kimberly Turman, Sports Medicine Specialist from GIKK Ortho Specialists, breaks down some of the more common basketball injuries and when they might require medical attention from an orthopedic specialist.

Ankle Sprain

Occurs with rolling of the ankle. Presents with lateral ankle pain (outer side of the ankle), swelling, and pain with weight bearing; tenderness is just below or around the fibula bone.

Seek Orthopedic Attention:  If tenderness is directly over the bone, or tenderness/pain medial (inner ankle) and athlete is unable to bear any weight, then an orthopedic exam and X-rays should be done to rule out a fracture.

Sprains usually allow return to play in the same season with rehab and bracing.  Fractures can be a season ending injury and may require surgery.

ACL Tear

Occurs with pivot injuries to the knee and akward landings.  Presents with global knee pain, swelling, and inability to continue play.

Seek Orthopedic Attention: X-rays will usually not show an ACL tear.  An orthopedic exam and MRI will most likely be required for diagnosis and confirmation of the ACL Tear.

An ACL Tear is typically a season ending injury that will require surgical reconstruction.

Meniscus Tear

Occurs with twisting or squatting injury. Presents with medial (inner) or lateral (outer) knee pain and swelling, may produce popping/catching.

Seek Orthopedic Attention: Similar to an ACL injury, an orthopedic exam and a MRI will be required for diagnosis and confirmation of the meniscus tear.

A meniscus tear is typically treated surgically.  If a total meniscus repair is required, it will be a season ending injury.  If only a meniscectomy (trim) is needed, some return to play for the season may be possible.

Patella Dislocation

Occurs with pivoting or contact injury. Kneecap usually pops out and back in.  The injury can present similar to ACL tears with global pain and swelling.

Seek Orthopedic Attention:  Requires an orthopedic exam and X-ray to rule out any additional injury to the knee, and/or to rule out a different knee injury.

A first time dislocation of the patella is typically treated with rehab and bracing with return to play the same season.  Repeat dislocations typically require surgical reconstruction and are season ending.