Injuries in the basketball world

A sport of springs, jumps, and quick stops is bound to take a toll on the legs, knees, and feet. Basketball players see their fair share of injuries, typically from overuse or minor trauma. Usually, they heal and return to the court. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a basketball player who gets blindsided gets sidelined.

Injured NBA players

Every NBA team has an athletic trainer waiting to rush on the court if something goes wrong. And sometimes, things really go wrong.

Grant Hill


Sprained ankle-turned-fracture

What happened

After continuing to play on the sprained ankle, it became an ankle fracture, which then became a potentially fatal methicillin resistant infection.

Shaun Livingston


Torn ACL, torn lateral meniscus, sprained MCL, dislocated patella

What happened

Landed awkwardly after missing a layup.

Andrew Bodut


Broken right hand, sprained wrist and dislocated elbow

What happened

Swung too far on the rim after a fast-break dunk.

The big 3

The three most common injuries in basketball are:

1. Ankle sprains


Rolling your ankle

What is it?

One or more ligaments of the ankle are torn or partially torn.

Light treatment: Rest, ice, compression & elevation

Heavy treatment: Physical therapy

Helpful gear: KT Tape, ankle support & walking boot

2. Patellofemoral pain syndrome


Jumper's knee

What is it?

The back of the kneecap coming into contact with the tigh bone.

Light treatment: Rest, stretching, ice, quadriceps strengthening

Heavy treatment: Physical therapy

Helpful gear: KT Tape, knee support & arch support

Plantar Fasciitis


Policeman's Heel

What is it?

Inflammation on the bottom surface of the foot.

Light treatment: Rest, stretching & massage therapy

Heavy treatment: Phycical therapy, corticosteroid injections, surgery

Helpful gear: KT Tape, night splints, motion-control running shoes

Preventing ankle sprains

While ankle sprains are injuries most don’t expect to happen. As a match goes on and our body starts tiring, we usually start to lose control over muscle strength. This muscle strength is used to keep our feet in proper form (read – preventing ankle sprains from a bad jump).

The only things that can help is training and expanding the limits of your body so you can keep on going for longer. The other option it to use tape or a small ankle support to help stabilize certain muscles and joints.

If you do end up with a sprained ankle, make sure to put ice on the ankle as soon as possible to reduce swelling. Get your foot some rest, and when you restart traing, use KT Tape to give your foot the extra support that it needs. Make sure to check out our ankle taping guide to help you out.

Preventing jumper's knee

Tight quadriceps and hamstrings can put unwanted stress and tension on the patellar tendon. Stretching both these muscles can help prevent jumper’s knee.

Strengthening the quadriceps (by doing leg extensions for example) and other muscles around the knee provides extra support to cope with impact from high jumps. If you are rehabbing from this injury, don’t forget to start your strength training with limited weights to prevent additional injuries.

Preventing plantar fasciitis

Inflammation on the bottom of the foot, a stubborn injury that starts of as a minor irritation but can develop into a more serious injury when not treated accordingly. Rest, stretch the foot and include some massaging to help the foot to heal.

As with many physical injuries, body imbalances (tight muscles and muscle imbalance) often lies at the root cause. Stretching the tight muscles will most of the time relieve pain. Ofcourse take in consideration that stretching any muscle takes repetitive action. Combined with low impact exercice like swimming or cycling, the plantar fasciitis should slowly but surely fade.