In my last entry http://basketballmedicine.blogspot.com/2007/09/that-hurts-part-1.html , we reviewed the injuries to women collegiate basketball players.
Now, let's look at the men's injuries.
In their recent Journal of Athletic Training article researchers reveiwed 16 years of NCAA injury surveillance data for men's basketball to identify the types and locations of injuries these athletes sustained.
They found that:
* Approximately 60% of all injuries were to the lower extremity, with ankle sprains being the most common injury overall (26%).
* 1 out of every 4 ankle sprains was a repeat ankle injury ((Please see my previous posts about ankle injuries and their rehabilitation and get yourself into an appropriate program so this doesn't happen to you!).
* Other common injuries included knee injuries (10%), thigh and hip bruises (3.9%) and concussions (3.6%).
* A player was more than twice as likely to sustain an ankle or knee injury in a game than during practice and was 3 times as likely to sustain a concussion in a game as in a practice (This is not surprising since practices are a more controlled and *sometimes* less intense setting than games).
* A trend of increasing incidence of injuries to the head and face was noted over the course of the study with an average increase of 6% each year.
Like the women, the men's college game is getting more and more physical. As the athletes get bigger and stronger, and the court stays the same dimensions, physical contact has become the "dominant cause of player injury".
The authors of this article felt that "the increased in head and facial injuries may indicate that officials need to assess the increased tolerance for physical contact", that is, call the game closer. We also need to encourage the use of mouth guards, but that's another blog entry .