Ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls beyond its normal range overstretching or tearing the ligaments. Lateral ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls inward injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle which include the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. During basketball, this injury results from twisting the ankle with running, landing unbalanced, or stepping on another opponent’s foot.


The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that stabilize the knee. It prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia (shin bone) on the femur (thigh bone). It is located inside the knee joint. During basketball, this injury occurs while landing from a jump incorrectly or while decelerating during pivoting or cutting.

Tendonitis refers to inflammation or microtears in a tendon. Patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee is common in basketball. The patellar tendon is an extension of the quadriceps tendon from the kneecap to the tibia. Onset of symptoms correlates to a muscle imbalance, overload, or poor jumping technique.

Overuse injuries include tendonitis which is inflammation or microtears in a tendon. The most common is patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee which occurs when the patella tendon is overstressed due to a muscle imbalance or overuse.


A muscle strain or a pulled muscle occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. The hamstrings are a common site for a muscle strain during basketball The hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh and are responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. This injury results from a muscle imbalance, inadequate warm up, lack of flexibility or muscle fatigue.


  • Initiate a pre-season training program to prepare the body to meet the demands of the sport
  • Work with coaches and trainers on proper mechanics during sport specific maneuvers including landing, cutting and running.
  • Incorporate a balance program throughout the season to reduce risk of ankle sprain
  • Wear a lace up ankle brace if you have a history of ankle sprain to reduce risk of re-injury
  • Incorporate a dynamics warm-up before play to increase heart rate and circulation
    Allow adequate rest to recover form exercise and don’t play through pain to avoid overuse injury
  • ACL injury prevention programs incorporating stretching, strengthening, plyometrics and sport specific agilities with emphasis on correct postures have been effective at decreasing injury risk
  • Keep courts clean and check equipment
  • Wear supportive basketball sneakers