Fifteen percent of basketball players ages 5 to 15 suffer injuries, mostly involving ankle and knee sprains. Sprains occur when one or more ligaments in a joint are stretched beyond their limits. This webpage provides information on common basketball injuries requiring treatment.
Ankle sprains occur most in basketball when landing from a rebound or jumping to make a basket. Treatment varies with the severity of the injury.
A common injury in basketball is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear, which occurs when the knee is twisted forcefully or hyperextended. This often occurs when landing from a jump, changing direction on the court or when colliding with another player. Athletes often describe a pop at the time of injury, followed by a lot of swelling within a few hours after the injury.
Athletes should see their pediatrician or a pediatric sports medicine physician if pain and/or swelling persist after PRICE treatment. In addition:
Knee pain that comes on slowly over time can indicate other problems, such as:
Asthma is a condition that causes wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath or chest tightness. Some athletes have a form of asthma that causes symptoms during or after physical activity called exercise-induced asthma. Sports requiring continuous activity, like basketball, can bring on asthma episodes in players.
Actions that may prevent or lessen exercise-induced asthma are:
Basketball players are at risk of dehydration if they don’t get enough fluid to replace what is lost through the skin as sweat and through the lungs while breathing. It is important to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after a workout or game. An athlete’s performance can be impacted by even mild dehydration.
Athletes should take a water bottle to school and drink between classes and during breaks so that they are well hydrated before their workout. In addition:
Early signs of dehydration can be non-specific and include:
Signs of advanced dehydration include:
Athletes with any of these signs should rest and drink water or sports drinks. If the athlete doesn’t improve, feels dizzy or faint or has not had much urine output, he should be seen by a doctor. Seek emergency treatment if the child is disoriented, unable to drink or has pale skin.
These can affect all areas of the body. The recommended treatment response is the PRICE formula:
Protect the area with a sling or crutches, if necessary.
Rest the injured area.
Ice the injury for 20 minutes at a time. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin.
Compress the injured area with a wrap. Do not pull tightly, as this can cut off circulation.
Elevate the injured area above the heart, if possible.
Athletes should see a pediatrician or pediatric sports medicine physician if any of these symptoms are present:
Children ages 5 to 14 make up almost 40% of all sports injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. Injuries in children are best handled by pediatric specialists trained in treating skeletally immature patients.
Taking the following steps can reduce your child’s risk of getting hurt. As a parent, you should:
Make sure your young athlete: