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Statistics on common basketball injuries

Here are some numbers on the most common injuries among basketball players.

A 2008 study by Borowski et al in the American Journal of Sports Medicine looked at high school basketball injury rates using the online reporting from 100 high schools for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. They found that high school basketball players sustained 1.94 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures (AE).

Injuries were more common in games versus practices (3.27 game injuries vs. 1.40 practice injuries).

Most Common Injuries (percentages are the respective portion of all injuries observed):

  1. Ankle/foot (39.7%)

  2. Knee (14.7%)

  3. Head/Face (13.6%)

  4. Arm/Hand (9.6%)

  5. Hip/thigh/upper leg (8.4%)

Injuries by Gender

Girls sustained more injuries (2.08 per 1,000 AE) versus boys (1.83 per 1,000 AE). Girls accounted for more concussions and knee injuries, while boys sustained more fractures and contusions.

For college basketball, two articles published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2007 (Agel et al and Dick et al) looked at the NCAA injury data from the 1988-89 through 2003-04 seasons. Lower extremity injuries accounted for more than half of all game and practice injuries with rates two times higher in games than practice.

Male injuries were 9.9 per 1000 AE during games and 4.3 per 1,000 AE during practice vs. 6.75 and 2.84 for females. Regarding ACL injuries in college basketball, women showed a 3.5 times greater incidence than men.

Common Game Injuries:

  1. Ankle sprains (26.2% for men; 24.6% for women)

  2. Knee Internal Derangement (7.4% for men; 15.9% for women)

  3. Concussions (3.6% for men, 6.5% for women)

  4. Patellar injuries 2.4% for men, 3.7% for women)

Common Practice Injuries:

  1. Ankle ligament sprains (26.8% for men, 23.6% for women)

  2. Knee internal derangements (6.2% for men, 9.3% for women)

  3. Patellar injuries (3.7% for men, 4% for women)

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.