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Southlake Style

Prevent Basketball Injuries

Feb 10, 2014 11:40AM ● By Anonymous

Sponsored by E-Care Emergency Centers

By Dr. Josh Prickett, medical director of North Tarrant E-Care Emergency Center, North Richland Hills

The Winter Olympics may boost enthusiasm for winter sports like alpine skiing, but February is still prime time for some of the year’s most exciting basketball. Our Southlake Carroll basketball teams have a few more regular season games to play, recreational leagues allow weekend warriors to stay active indoors, the NBA playoffs are looming, and NCAA March Madness is just around the corner. Unfortunately, many basketball players suffer injuries while enjoying their favorite pastime. For a pain-free season on the court, athletes should know what to watch out for and how to avoid injury.

Common Basketball Injuries

Most sports injuries, no matter what type of game you play, result from either overuse or acute injury to muscles, ligaments and bones.  The NBA currently lists more than a dozen players out with injuries, and there is a long way to go between the All Star Game this month and the playoffs in April. Just glancing down the list of names like Kobe Bryant (knee), Russell Westbrooke (knee), Danny Green (finger) and Nicolas Batum (ankle) demonstrates that foot, ankle and knee injuries are common in the sport.

In fact, the most frequent basketball injuries tend to be:

·       Sprained ankle

·       Jumper’s Knee or patellar tendonitis

·       Torn knee ligament (ACL, PCL, LCL or  MCL)

·       Jammed fingers

·       Stress fractures in the foot or lower leg

·       Concussion

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that young athletes suffer injury at about the same rate as professional athletes, but young players are more susceptible to muscle, tendon and growth plate injuries because they are still growing at an uneven pace. When children get hurt playing basketball, or any sport, the resulting problems may cause serious issues in their adult years, causing arthritis or chronic conditions that require orthopedic surgery to correct.

To minimize the impact of any basketball injury, no matter what your age, follow your doctor’s advice to seek prompt treatment and know the recommended guidelines for preventing basketball injury.

Basketball Fitness Tips

·Stay in shape during the off season with a good balance of physical conditioning: aerobic workouts, weight training and flexibility exercises.

·Wear non-skid athletic shoes appropriate to playing on the basketball court (soft leather with a solid tread).

·Warm up, stretch and stay hydrated for peak performance with fewer injuries.

·Concentrate on focused technique on the court, sticking to the position you know best and avoiding violent collisions.

·Choose safety equipment such as eye protection, ankle supports, mouth guards and knee or elbow pads.

Even with the utmost care and training, some basketball injuries are destined to affect players of all ages. Whether your “round ball rowdy” suffers a sprained ankle, jammed finger, bruises or a serious concussion or fracture, it’s never a good idea to play through the pain. Simple first aid treatment is essential, but severe pain and swelling call for closer examination and possibly x-rays to determine the extent of your basketball injury. Take care of your athletes now to avoid lingering, escalating problems later. 

Josh Prickett MD

Josh Prickett, MD, is currently medical director for North Tarrant location of E-Care Emergency Center in North Richland Hills. Dr. Prickett graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School and has been practicing emergency care in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Texas since 1989.  He has been married to his wife Carin for 29 years. They have a son Jonathan, a daughter Whitney, and a son-in-law John. Dr. Prickett and his family are active at Gateway Church in Southlake and love being a part of the Southlake community.