Injury incidence among NBA players

What are the most serious problems a basketball player can encounter?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Injury incidence among NBA players
© Ethan Miller / Staff Getty Images Sport

NBA players, but also teenage basketball players, can suffer from a wide variety of injuries. They can sometimes be prevented, other times it is impossible to do so, as what happened this summer to Bronny James, son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron.

A team of researchers published a study this year entitled: Injury incidence among adolescent and senior basketball players: a prospective study in 19 teams across an entire season, published on The Physician and sportsmedicine, trying to explain the incidence of injuries among basketball players.

Injury incidence among NBA players

"To quantify and compare injury incidence between national-level, adolescent and regional-level, senior, male basketball players competing in Serbia overall and according to injury mechanism (contact, non-contact, or overuse), exposure setting (training or games), and history (new or recurrent).

A total of 218 male basketball players from 19 teams (106 senior and 112 adolescent players) volunteered to participate in the study. Descriptive data regarding game and training injury incidence were gathered across all players and reported per 10,000 athlete-exposures (AE) with 95% confidence intervals.

Overall, 26 injuries were reported across 52,509 AE. Ankle and knee injuries accounted for 69% of all reported injuries, with only 1-2 injuries documented for other body regions. Ankle injuries were attributed to contact or non-contact mechanisms.

Most knee injuries occurred due to overuse or non-contact mechanisms. Comparisons according to exposure setting revealed significantly higher knee and ankle injuries per 10,000 AE during games compared to training. Recurrent injuries were most prominent in the ankle.

Total contact, non-contact, and recurrent IR (p = 0.005) were significantly higher in senior than adolescent players. The players examined were most susceptible to ankle and knee injuries, particularly during games compared to training.

Ankle injuries were mostly attributed to player contact, while knee injuries were mostly attributed to overuse and non-contact mechanisms. Senior players were at a greater risk of sustaining contact, non-contact and recurrent injuries than adolescent players," explaiend the researchers.

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