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Life in Motion

Preventing Common Basketball Injuries

Sports & Exercise

As the official hospital of the Boston Celtics, New England Baptist Hospital sees firsthand the many injuries basketball players can incur. From ACL tears to sprained ankles to jammed fingers, Brian McKeon, MD, NEBH Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief Medical Officer and Head Team Physician for the Boston Celtics, has seen almost every injury possible. Here he discusses some of the more common injuries, and ways to prevent them.

Basketball is a fast-paced, aggressive sport that can cause a wide range of injuries, most often to the foot, ankle, and knee. Sprained ankles and knee ligament tears are common. Basketball players are also at risk for jammed fingers and stress fractures in the foot and lower leg.

The most common basketball injuries include:

Injury prevention tips:

  • Maintain fitness-make sure you are in good shape.
  • During the off-season, stick to a balanced fitness routine that includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility.
  • Warm up and stretch. Cold muscles are prone to injury.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate.

Before you play, make sure to have the proper equipment, including:

  • Basketball shoes that offer support and are non-skid
  • Knee and elbow pads to help prevent bruising
  • A mouth guard

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