March is the season when one of the biggest annual sporting events takes place – the NCAA basketball single-elimination tournament, more commonly known as March Madness. This exciting event has players all across the country getting ready for their time on court.
Regardless of whether you play basketball recreationally or are a professional athlete, basketball-related injuries are commonplace, and ensuring that you get the right treatment is key to keeping you in the game.
An orthopedic surgeon can provide expert care if you have a basketball-related injury. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions and use a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments. The type of treatment you require will depend on your condition and other factors such as your age, lifestyle, overall health, and personal preferences. Your surgeon will discuss your treatment options with you and help you decide which type is best for you to ensure you make a successful recovery.
Failing to get the appropriate treatment for an injury can not only delay your recovery, but also may lead to much bigger problems further down the line. Read on to learn more about common basketball related injuries and their treatments.
Common Basketball-Related Injuries
- Finger Injuries – When playing basketball, your fingers can be vulnerable to injuries, such as jammed fingers and fractures. A jammed finger occurs when the tip of the finger is compressed towards the hand, which causes the ligaments that support the joint to overstretch. In severe cases the ligaments can tear completely.
Symptoms of a jammed finger include pain and the inability to bend or straighten the finger, and grip with the finger. A finger fracture can occur from a sudden impact or trauma to a finger. It can cause symptoms that include pain, bruising, swelling, numbness, and the inability to bend the finger.
Treatment for finger injuries depend on the type and severity of the injury. Minor injuries may improve with splinting or buddy strapping to a neighboring healthy finger and with hand therapy, but severe sprains or fractures may require surgery to repair the injury.
- Shin Splints – Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are a type of shin pain that is typically caused by exercise that has overworked the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. It can cause pain, tenderness, or soreness along the inner side of the shinbone and mild swelling in the lower leg, which usually feels better when resting. If left untreated, the pain can get worse and become continuous and may progress to a stress fracture.
Shin splints can often be treated successfully with rest, ice, and pain relief. Activity level can typically be increased gradually once the pain has gone.
- Jumper’s Knee – Patellar tendonitis, more commonly referred to as jumper’s knee, is a type of knee condition characterized by inflammation of the patella tendon. This tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia), and it can become inflamed with repeated stress, such as frequent jumping on hard surfaces. If left untreated, jumper’s knee can lead to a tear in the tendon which may require surgical repair. Symptoms of jumper’s knee include pain, tenderness and swelling, and pain with jumping, running, or walking and when bending and straightening the leg.
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury but may include rest, elevation, anti-inflammatory medication, ice packs to reduce swelling in the knee, and stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Foot Fractures – Repetitive stress from running, jumping, sprinting, and stopping, especially on a hard surface, can cause stress fractures to develop in the foot. They occur when the muscles in the foot become too tired or overused and are unable to absorb the impact and stress, which leaves the bones vulnerable to tiny cracks or fractures. Symptoms can get worse gradually over time and usually start as tenderness, and sometimes swelling, in a specific area that reduces with rest.
The condition usually responds to a period of rest and applying ice regularly. You may also require a walking boot or brace to reduce putting weight on the bones until healing occurs. Activity should also be resumed slowly once your doctor has said it is okay for you to do so. In some case, for severe fractures or in areas with a poor blood supply, surgery to repair the fracture may be recommended.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries – Basketball players can be vulnerable to shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tendonitis and tears, due to frequent overhead arm motions. The rotator cuff is a network of muscles and tendons that support the shoulder joint. Repetitive motions can cause the tendons to become irritated leading to pain and tenderness. The injury can become worse leading to a tear if not properly treated and rested.
Nonsurgical treatments including rest, physical therapy, medication, and cortisone injections may be necessary for minor injuries, but for more severe rotator cuff injuries, surgery may be required to repair the damage and to restore full strength and function to the shoulder.
When To Visit A Doctor
If you have an injury and are experiencing persistent pain or have reduced function and mobility that is preventing you from carrying out your normal activities, you should visit your doctor for further examination and appropriate treatment. Your doctor will assess your medical history and ask you about your symptoms. They will also carry out a thorough physical evaluation and may request diagnostic tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to accurately diagnose your condition.
Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, Fl
If you have a basketball or other sports-related injury, contact Advanced Orthopedic Center. Our experienced team of board-certified physicians can help diagnose and treat your condition, allowing you to get back to your sport as quickly as possible.
Don’t let pain stop you from carrying out the things you enjoy. Schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated physicians today. Call us at (941) 629-6262 to learn more about our comprehensive orthopedic services or you can use our convenient online appointment request form.