As we all know, basketball is a high-speed sport which always keeps us on our toes. Because of its high pace and high contact, injuries may occur. While most injuries are minor, here’s a list of the most frequent found in basketball, and helpful tips on how to treat them.
The best treatment for an ankle sprain is RICE – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Any ankle injury that persists should be evaluated by a doctor who can request an X-ray. Pain and swelling over the bone itself may need further evaluation. An injury to the ankle in a child who is still growing could represent a simple sprain or could be the result of an injury to the growth plates located around the ankle and should be evaluated by a physician.
Jammed fingers occur when the ball contacts the end of the finger and causes significant swelling of a single joint. Application of ice and buddy taping the finger to the adjacent finger may provide some relief and allow the athlete to return to play. If pain and swelling persist, evaluation by a physician or athletic trainer is recommended and an x-ray of the finger may be needed.
Basketball involves a lot of stop and go and cutting maneuvers which can put the ligaments and menisci of the knee at risk. Injury to the medial collateral ligament is most common following a blow to the outside of the knee and can be often be treated with ice, bracing and a slow return to activity.
An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament is more serious and can occur with an abrupt change in direction and landing for the jump. Although this ligament tear is most commonly a season-ending injury that requires corrective surgery, current techniques used to repair the ACL ligament generally allow the player to return to play the following season.
Deep Thigh Bruising
Treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Commercially available girdles with thigh pads are available for protection.
Depending on the depth of the injury, the cut may require stitches or a “butterfly” sterile tape. Ice may provide pain relief and decrease swelling. Players can return to play after all blood is removed and the wound is dressed.
Stress fractures can occur from a rapid increase in activity level or training or from overtraining. Stress fractures in basketball most commonly occur in the foot and lower leg (tibia). Once diagnosed, a period of immobilization and non-weight bearing is recommended. Return to play is permitted once the fracture has completely healed and the athlete is pain free.