March Madness is here and many people across the country are tuning into basketball games to see who will come out on top. In fact, the excitement of these games may lead people to engage in a friendly game of hoops or join a league. However, people need to be aware that knee injuries are common in this sport and work to prevent these injuries before they occur. In the event the knee has already been injured or it bothers a player during or after a game, individuals need to know how best to go about treating knee pain. Following are some common injuries seen in this sport and how to treat them.
Sprains and Strains
When a ligament in the knee stretches further than nature intended, a sprain occurs. In certain cases, the ligament may even tear and damage to a ligament is typically the result of a trauma to the knee. Strains, in contrast, are when a tendon is injured in the knee and often come about as the result of overuse. Regardless of whether a player has a sprain or strain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation are needed and knee braces and supports are of great help in dealing with the injury. In certain cases, physical therapy and/or surgery will be required for complete healing.
Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, is inflammation of the patellar tendon that connects the shinbone and kneecap. This inflammation is often the result of a player jumping to make a basket and can be treated with exercise and medications designed to reduce the inflammation. In more serious cases, a person may need platelet-rich plasma or corticosteroid injections to help in healing. However, surgery is rarely required for this condition. The attending doctor will provide recommendations on how best to reduce this inflammation so the player can get back out on the court quickly.
If you have injured your knee while playing this popular sport, you aren’t alone. In fact, many professional basketball players suffer similar injuries every year. One way to prevent damage to the knee is to make use of knee sleeves and braces. Ask your doctor if they may be of benefit to you when playing. The goal is to prevent injuries before they occur and these devices may help in achieving this goal. If the knee has already sustained an injury, they can be of help during the recovery process. For these reasons, every basketball player may wish to have one or more on hand at all times.