Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Most Common Basketball Injuries

Most Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in America, and like any sport, it carries some risk of injury. If you or your child play basketball, even just recreationally, here are the top five types of injury to watch for.


Concussions account for about 15% of all sports-related injuries. In basketball, a blow to the head can happen as part of a fall, or from bodily contact with another player, usually via an elbow. A concussion can require immediate medical care followed by some days of rest as symptoms like dizziness and blurred vision subside.

Ankle sprains 

Roughly 50% of all basketball-related injuries involve the ankle and/or foot. Players can land wrong after a high jump, twist or roll their ankle when pivoting sharply, or even get stepped on by mistake. RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can resolve most minor sprains. More serious injuries may require physical therapy or even surgical intervention.  

Knee injuries

Knee injuries are extremely common in basketball due to the nature of the sport, which requires extreme stress on the knee joint including twisting and landing from high jumps. The three most common knee injuries include a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a damaged meniscus, and an inflamed patella tendon (jumper’s knee). These may heal without a procedure but are common reasons for knee surgery among basketball players. 

Thigh bruises

A knee to the thigh can cause a deep tissue bruise that feels agonizing. Prevention can include wearing compression shorts with thigh padding that reach almost to the knee to help protect the muscle. RICE, massage, and physical therapy can help with a serious deep muscle bruise.

Jammed fingers 

When the tip of the finger hits the ball “head on” and doesn’t bend, or bends backward, the result is a nasty jam that seems like it hurts worse than an outright break. However, this injury isn’t usually serious; buddy taping (taping the finger to the finger next to it) and icing the hand is usually all that is required to fix jammed fingers although soreness can persist for up to a week.

If you or your child have suffered an injury while playing basketball, immediate attention can reduce the amount of treatment that is needed later. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns. Dr. Strasburger provides a full range of care for children and adults, and can advise you on the best course of therapy to help ensure a full recovery from a basketball injury.

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