Are injured basketball players causing you to modify your March Madness bracket? Over the years, many basketball injuries have happened at this crucial time of the season. Here are a few injuries that commonly occur in basketball due to overworking muscles, tendons and ligaments:
- Hamstring Strain – The sprinting and jumping in basketball can result in hamstring strains. The hamstring is a group of muscles in the back of the upper leg. Treatments for hamstring strains include resting the leg, icing the leg, anti-inflammatory painkillers and compressing the leg.
- Concussion – A concussion is a traumatic head injury that is caused by a direct blow to the head. In basketball, concussions are often caused by blows to the head with the elbow or knee. To properly treat a concussion, a player will need to avoid contact play for at least two weeks and have a physician closely monitor symptoms.
- Shin Splints – Shin splints are described as pain in the lower leg. The pain is often just caused by overuse and doesn’t require serious treatment. To treat shin splints, players should follow the RICE principles (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), stretch before exercising and do low resistance strengthening exercises
- Wrist Sprain – Wrist sprains occur when ligaments in the wrist get overstretched. They can range from Grade 1 (least severe) to Grade 3 (most severe). For mild to severe cases, splinting or bracing might be necessary.
- Patellar Tendonitis – Patellar Tendonitis, or Jumper’s Knee, is caused by overworking the quadriceps or thigh muscles. Treatment for Jumper’s Knee is broken down to three phases. During Phase I, the patient should rest the knee, which can last anywhere from three days to three weeks. Phase II includes stretching and strengthening exercises that focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings. The final phase, phase III includes gradually working back into activities that caused the issue.
- ACL Tear – The ACL tear, which is when the ligament tears from either the end of the femur or from the top of the tibia, most commonly occurs in basketball when pivoting or landing from a rebound. Treating an ACL tear can range from resting to surgery.
It’s inevitable that injuries will happen to key players during March Madness, some more severe than others. Although it’s the most important time in the season, after an injury the player needs to slowly regain strength and flexibility to improve the injury and restore full function.
It is important to note that ExpressCare is not an emergency department and cannot provide care for life threatening illness and injury. Please see our list of conditions we treat here and call 911 if you are having a medical emergency.