It’s the sport Americans like to play the most, basketball. The NBA is one of the most watched leagues in the world and it has shaped legends that are synonymous with America such as Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neil. While the winter season might have frozen many an outdoor basketball court, indoor arenas are around for lovers of the game to keep enjoying it.
But enthusiasm for the game could bring with it a few injuries as well. Here’s a breakdown of what could go wrong.
Most injuries are of the orthopedic kind, involving the ankles and the feet. But injuries could also affect the thighs, knees, shoulders and the face. Specifically, basketball injuries can be classified into traumatic injuries and overuse injuries.
Traumatic and Overuse Injuries
Traumatic injuries are the results of sudden injury. Jammed fingers are among the more common of these. Severe jammed finger cases could also result in broken fingers. Depending on the severity of the injury, splinting may be required for healing the injured finger. Muscle tear or pull is another example of a traumatic injury which generally occurs in the large leg muscles. Fortunately, muscle pull injuries can be prevented through simple warming up exercises. Stretching calves and thighs well before playing and doing other warm-up exercises would also help.
Overuse injuries are those caused as a result of a particular area being stressed too much till damage appears. Jumper’s Knee, or patellar tendinitis, is one such injury and it is characterized by tendon pain below the kneecap. Overuse could also cause conditions such as Achilles tendinitis which is basically injury in the tendon which connects the back calf muscles to the bone in the heel. This could also result in torn Achilles tendon. All such tendon injuries are characterized by pain felt above the heel at the back portion of the leg. Torn Achilles tendon can be treated by immobilization, or there may be surgery needed for repairing the damage. X-rays and MRIs may have to be performed to determine the seriousness of the injury.
Thigh Bruising and Facial Cuts
Bruising of the thighs is another common basketball injury. This is treated with ice, elevation and compression. Rest is also necessary. Injury to the thighs can be prevented with the girdles equipped with thigh pads. Facial cuts may sometimes need stitches or sterile tape treatment. These cuts need not prevent players from returning to the game. Once ice is administered to reduce the swelling and provide relief from the pain, and the wound dressed after all the blood is removed, players can get back to the play.
The knee comes under a lot of stress and strain. When the outside portion of the knee gets a blow it results in injury to its medial collateral ligament (MCL). Ice and bracing could take care of this, coupled with rest. Sometimes, landing after a jump or changing direction abruptly could cause damage to the knee’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Only corrective surgery would set this right.
Basketball is a great sport to enjoy, and remember that should an injury bring you down there are advanced and multispecialty healthcare centers to offer you surgery, physical therapy, NSAID drug medication or other treatment procedures to get you back to play.