2015 NBA Playoffs..Basketball Weather is Among Us
By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 30, 2015
Category: sports injury

The 2015 NBA Playoffs are well underway, and there are always some kind of injuries considering the high impact sport has on the feet and ankles.  Mike Conley, point guard of the Memphis Grizzlies knows this better than anyone else.  He recently sprained his right ankle in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans and has been playing through the pain since.  Warmer weather is just around the corner, and everyone is going to be heading outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather.  For our sports fans out there, basketball season is here, but before we lace up our high tops, let’s take a second to remember our safety and proper footwear to help avoid injury.

The most common injury involved with basketball, as well as many other sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball, is a lateral ankle (inversion) sprain.  More than 80% of all ankle injuries involve the lateral ankle resulting in the stretching or rupture of the ligaments that are around the ankle.   65% of chronic lateral ankle pain and instability is secondary to a previous ankle sprain.  Basketball is a high impact activity as well as fast paced, therefore, the athletes must be quick on their feet and be ready to change and shift positions faster than a blink of an eye.  Consequently, the number one risk factor for a lateral ankle sprain is a fast twisting motion to the ankle, which is true for those who have a history of a previous sprain.  Immediately following the ankle injury, aggressive rehabilitation featuring muscular strengthening and exercise is essential.  When conservative treatment fails, surgical repair of the ligaments is indicated.  Although ligamentous sprain and/or rupture is the most common with inversion injury, several other injuries are frequently encountered.  These include avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal base, Jones fracture, syndesmosis injury, calcaneal anterior process fracture, talar lateral process fracture, talar dome fracture, peroneal or flexor tendon injury and sural nerve damage.  

                Symptoms of an ankle sprain besides immediate pain and discomfort is also immediate swelling and bruising around the ankle in question of the injury.  Swelling should go down in a few days if there is a mild sprain, but for the more severe sprains, the swelling may persist for longer than normal.  Most ankle sprain injuries will be painful for the patient to walk on it and put weight on your foot, and your ankle may feel unstable.  Many athletes also recall hearing a ‘pop’ or ‘snap’ sound or actually feeling a tearing sensation at the time of the injury.  Other factors that can lead an ankle injury, are inappropriate shoe gear, excessive cushioning; shoe or surface, or even an irregular surface being your shoe.  You are recommended if the swelling does not go down and if the pain persists, to go to the podiatrist immediately, or closest emergency room.  Contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office at 973 – 673 – 3668, immediately if this occurs to you during your physical activity.

                Be sure to be safe when on the courts with lacing up your shoes correctly, hydrating with water on warmer days, and resting yourself at night while watching the 2015 NBA Playoffs after a good game.