27 Feb Why Do Basketball Players Suffer From So Many Knee Injuries
Basketball is a sport that doesn’t feature as many injuries as team sports like soccer or football, but basketball players are at a particularly high risk for knee injuries. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, our orthopedic specialists are well-versed in diagnosing and treating various knee injuries that affect basketball players and keep them off the court. Continue reading to discover why so many basketball players suffer from knee injuries and how we can help.
What Are Basketball Knee Injuries?
Basketball is a high-impact sport that puts significant stress on the knees. The repetitive and intense jumping motions crucial to this sport make overuse and stress injuries a persistent issue for basketball players. Hard court surfaces and rapid movements also increase the risk of traumatic knee injuries from slips and falls. As a result, basketball players are at a higher risk of knee injuries than athletes in other sports. Some of the most common basketball knee injuries include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears: The ACL is one of the main ligaments in the knee that helps stabilize the joint. It is often torn when a player makes a sudden change in direction or lands awkwardly from a jump.
- Meniscus tears: The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. It can be torn when a player twists or rotates their knee while bearing weight.
- Patellar tendinitis: Also known as “jumper’s knee,” this overuse injury occurs when a player repetitively jumps and lands. The patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone, becomes inflamed and can cause pain and stiffness.
- Chondromalacia patella: This is a condition where the cartilage under the kneecap becomes damaged. It can be caused by overuse, misalignment of the knee joint, or a direct blow to the kneecap.
Treating Basketball Knee Injuries
Orthopedic doctors are specialists in treating bone and joint injuries, including knee injuries. Treatment options for knee injuries will vary depending on the specific injury and the severity of the damage. Some common treatments include:
- Rest and ice: In the initial stages of injury, rest and ice can help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Exercises: Exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve the range of motion. Our experts may recommend therapeutic exercises to help strengthen the knee and its surrounding muscles.
- Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct a damaged ligament or cartilage.
Preventing Knee Injuries
Awareness is critical to preventing basketball knee injuries. Players who are well aware of the associated risks of their activity and the measures they can take to reduce those risks are less likely to experience painful injuries. Preventing knee injuries can be done by following these steps:
- Wear proper shoes that fit well and provide support.
- Strengthening the muscles that support the knee, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles.
- Stretching before and after playing to help keep the muscles flexible.
- Avoiding overuse injuries by taking breaks and limiting the amount of time spent playing.
Overall, knee injuries are a common problem for basketball players due to the high-impact nature of the sport. However, with proper treatment and preventative measures, these injuries can be managed, and players can return to the court.
While many of these knee injuries can be prevented through careful playing, strength training, and avoidance of overuse, the risk of basketball injuries can never be entirely eliminated. If you’ve suffered a basketball-related knee injury and are seeking elite care, our orthopedic specialists at New York Sports Medicine Institute are here to help. Be sure to contact us today to learn more and request an appointment!