Basketball, like a majority team contact sports, is one of the most traumatic sports. Given the amount of lateral movement, pivoting, and jumping that is required to be successful in this sport, it is no surprise that participating athletes are at risk for injury. This article is based on a study which aimed to review medical conditions that players of National Basketball Association cope with as a result of individual injuries. This research covers the 17-year period, starting with the 1988-1989 NBA season. During this period of time has been processed information about 1094 athletes. Information about the injuries and players were reported by athletic trainers and team physicians. The criteria for injuries reports were one or more of the following parameters: (1) physician referral, (2) practice or game being missed, and (3) emergency care. The data included pathology, time and place of onset, activity, and mechanism of the injury.
For the purposes of this study the data analysis was based on athlete game exposure defined as 1 player appearing in 1 game (without distinction if were played all 48 or only 1 minute) and was performed for factors as age, height, weight, and years of NBA experience. During the period of study there were reported 12 594 injures (of these, 6287 occurred during the games, 49.9%) that led to 59 179 missed games. The incidence of injury was 19.1 per 1000 athlete exposures. The lower extremity was the most injured area of the body (62.4%) and these injures were responsible for most missed games (72.3%). The next common injured areas involved upper extremity and torso (12.2% and 12.9% respectively). It was found that the most injured structure was the ankle (14.7%). It is important to note that knee injuries were responsible for the maximal amount of missed games, 10 737 of 59 179 (18.1%). When pathology of injures were analyzed, lateral ankle sprains were found most common (13.