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Common Injuries of Youth Basketball

Now that football season is over, many athletes, parents, and healthcare professionals alike are taking a big sigh of relief. Not so fast folks, basketball season is here and in full swing! While the risk of injury is much lower in basketball than football, there are still a significant amount of injuries that occur. Some minor, others much more severe… Remember Kevin Ware??

A joint of the upper extremity that typically gets injured are those of the fingers. Jammed fingers are a very common injury in basketball. This injury is actually damage to the joint of the finger, many times a sprain. “Buddy Taping” the injured finger to the adjacent finger will help protect the joint while continuing to play while the injury is still healing. Basketball is full of flying elbows as well. Those elbows can commonly cause bloody noses, jaw injuries, facial lacerations, as well as concussions. Many injuries can be prevented by wearing a mouth guard.

Many of these injuries can be easily prevented with proper warm-up and cool-down, wearing a mouth guard, and strengthening the muscles surrounding the ankle joint. Some of the most common injuries of youth basketball can be managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) followed by rehabilitation and/or proper bracing or taping. If any are severe, unresolved, or chronic be sure to refer to a sports medicine specialist for appropriate treatment.

Meghan McKay, MEd, LAT, ATC

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