Objectives: To determine the rate of ankle injury and examine risk factors of ankle injuries in mainly recreational basketball players.
Methods: Injury observers sat courtside to determine the occurrence of ankle injuries in basketball. Ankle injured players and a group of non-injured basketball players completed a questionnaire.
Results: A total of 10 393 basketball participations were observed and 40 ankle injuries documented. A group of non-injured players formed the control group (n = 360). The rate of ankle injury was 3.85 per 1000 participations, with almost half (45.9%) missing one week or more of competition and the most common mechanism being landing (45%). Over half (56.8%) of the ankle injured basketball players did not seek professional treatment. Three risk factors for ankle injury were identified: (1) players with a history of ankle injury were almost five times more likely to sustain an ankle injury (odds ratio (OR) 4.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.95 to 12.48); (2) players wearing shoes with air cells in the heel were 4.3 times more likely to injure an ankle than those wearing shoes without air cells (OR 4.34, 95% CI 1.51 to 12.40); (3) players who did not stretch before the game were 2.6 times more likely to injure an ankle than players who did (OR 2.62, 95% CI 1.01 to 6.34). There was also a trend toward ankle tape decreasing the risk of ankle injury in players with a history of ankle injury (p = 0.06).
Conclusions: Ankle injuries occurred at a rate of 3.85 per 1000 participations. The three identified risk factors, and landing, should all be considered when preventive strategies for ankle injuries in basketball are being formulated.