Common Basketball Injuries You Might See During March Madness

March Madness is upon us, have you completed your brackets?  In this week’s blog, Mark Wentworth, ATC, shares some of the common basketball injuries the players may experience during the games.

Inversion Ankle Sprain

The inversion sprain occurs when the player rolls their ankle.  It usually happens when another player lands on a player’s foot.

lateral inversion sprain

  • Results in ligament sprain/tearing
  • Healing time – 2 to 8 weeks
  • Treatment: RICE
    • R – Rest
    • I – Ice
    • C – Compression
    • E – Elevation
  • Bracing
  • Physical Therapy – helps recover range of motion (ROM), decrease swelling and pain, improve balance and return to activity.


Achilles Tendonitis

This injury occurs with overuse or overloading of the Achilles tendon.  Symptoms include swelling, pain and weakness in the Achilles tendon. 

achilles tendon

  • Recovery time – 2 to 12 weeks
  • Treatment – RICE – as above
  • Physical Therapy may consist of stretching, eccentric strengthening  (lengthening of the muscle), x-friction massage, ultrasound and dry needling.


Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain of the Knee

The MCL sprain is a result of a direct blow to the outside of the knee, causing the knee to go to the inside, damaging the ligament on the inside of the knee.  Symptoms present at swelling, pain and instability to the knee.  Kevin Durant’s current injury is a MCL strain.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain of the Knee

  • Treatment – Rest, ice and compression
  • Bracing – to protect the ligament and allow it to heal properly
  • Physical Therapy – Range of motion and strengthening exercises, return to sports activities, Ultrasound, ice and massage.
  • Healing time – depends on the severity of the injury -4 to 12 weeks


Patella Tendonitis – “Jumpers Knee”

Patella tendonitis is a result of overuse of the patella tendon, usually from jumping.  Symptoms can include pain, swelling and weakness when squatting and jumping.

Patella tendonitis (jumpers knee) symptoms

  • Treatment – Rest, ice and compression
  • Physical Therapy – may consist of stretching, eccentric strengthening exercises, massage, Ultrasound, icing and dry needling.
  • Recovery Time – 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the tendonitis


Mark Wentworth, ATC, is the manager of the St. Joseph’s physical therapy location.  Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree from Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio.  He has 21 years of experience as a certified athletic trainer.  Mark has worked with many major league sports players and worked for ten years as the game night trainer for the Atlanta Hawks.