Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 204 - 211

Research article
Prospective Epidemiological Study of Basketball Injuries During One Competitive Season: Ankle Sprains and Overuse Knee Injuries
Elke Cumps1,, Evert Verhagen2, Romain Meeusen1, 
Author Information
1 Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Department of Human Physiology and Sports Medicine - Policy Research Center Sports, Physical Activity and Health, Belgium
2 Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO-Institute, VU University Medical Centre, The Netherlands

Romain Meeusen
✉ Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Department of Human Physiology and Sports Medicine, Belgium.
Publish Date
Received: 30-10-2006
Accepted: 28-02-2007
Published (online): 01-06-2007
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This prospective cohort study aims to assess the overall incidence of acute and overuse basketball injuries and identifies risk factors associated with ankle sprains and knee overuse injuries. In total, 164 senior players (23.7 years ± 7.0) of all levels of play, and including both men and women, participated voluntarily during one season. A total of 139 acute and 87 overuse injuries were reported, resulting in an overall injury incidence of 9.8 (8.5 to 11.1) per 1,000 hours. The incidence of acute injuries was 6.0/1,000 hours. Ankle sprains (n = 34) accounted for most acute injuries, and 52.9% of all players with ankle sprains reported a previous ankle sprain. Relative Risks (RR) and Odds Ratio (OR) with their 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were calculated to determine significant differences. Landing on an opponent’s foot was the major inciting event, significantly more so than non contact mechanisms (RR=2.1 [95% CI: 1.0-4.2]). Acute knee injuries resulted in the highest playing absence (7 weeks 2 days ± 9 weeks 1 day). Overuse injury incidence was 3.8/1,000 hours. The knee (1.5/1,000 hours) was the most common site. Forward players sustained less knee overuse injuries than players of all other playing positions, and significantly less than center players (OR=0.5 [95% CI: 0.2-0.9]). This study showed that ankle sprains and overuse knee injuries are the most common injuries in basketball, both accounting for 14.8%. Injury prevention programmes however should not concentrate on those injuries only, but might one to consider that acute knee injuries, in spite of the fact that they occur less frequently, also merit further research.

Key words: Aetiology, ankle sprain, injury cause, injury mechanism, overuse knee injury

           Key Points
  • Ankle sprains are the most common acute injuries in basketball with the inciting event being landing on an opponent’s foot or changing direction.
  • Anterior knee pain is the most common overuse injury. Etiologic factors are well described in literature, but prevention strategies are lacking.
  • Acute knee injuries account for the highest inactivity and should therefore also be prevented.
  • Most of the injuries are due to contact mechanisms and therefore the definition of basketball as a non contact sport is questionable.
  • Highest injury risks are found in women and in the lower levels.
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