Ankle Injuries in Football and Basketball

Most athletes that play football and/or basketball know that these sports put their ankles at risk for injury. Yet so many football and basketball players, especially younger players, don’t do anything to protect themselves from injury.

Let’s put things in to perspective:

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots limped off the field during their AFC Championship win on Sunday, January 22. Now he’s questionable to return for the Super Bowl. He might miss playing in the Super Bowl because of an ankle injury!
  • Center Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz recently had to sit out of another basketball game because of an inflamed ankle. This isn’t the first time he’s hurt his ankle. How many more times is it going to happen?
  • Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely due to a fractured left ankle which occurred after landing on another player’s foot.

Ankle injuries are very frequent in both football and basketball. Luckily there are ways you can reduce your chances of ankle injuries. For one thing, be sure to strengthen and stretch your ankles between games. Having strong ankle muscles means that you’re less likely to sprain your ankle.  Check your equipment. Be sure your shoes aren’t worn out. Include ankle braces as part of your usual gear that you wear on the court and on the field.

Although nothing can completely eliminate our chances for ankle injuries, they can significantly reduce them. Talk with your doctor or sports medicine professional for additional ways to help reduce your chances of ankle injuries from football and basketball. You can also check out these following resources for football and basketball ankle protection.

Basketball Braces for Joint Protection

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

I don’t think I’ve ever participated in any competitive or recreational basketball league without seeing fellow players get hurt. Athletes are bound to get hurt with all the running, quick changes in speed, sharp turns, jumping, and landing in basketball. The most common injuries are knee injuries and ankle injuries.

The knee is susceptible to injury during basketball because of the pivoting involved with the sport. This positioning puts the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) at risk, especially if another player collides with you. I’ve also witnessed fellow teammates injure their ACL during layups or even when no other player is near them. I’ve also known basketball players who experience patellar tendonitis, which means that their tendon in the kneecap is inflamed. This is usually caused by overuse to the knee.

You can help prevent knee injuries during basketball by wearing basketball knee braces. They reduce the amount of time your knee is at an “at risk” position for ligament tears and may be helpful in preventing non-contact ACL tears. Knee straps for basketball may also help prevent inflammation of the patellar tendon, which may help keep you on the court.

The ankle is susceptible to injury during basketball because of all the turning and jumping in the sport. One simple misstep can cause the ankle to rollover, stretching the ligaments in your ankle and causing an ankle sprain. I still remember going up for a rebound and landing on another player’s shoe. This caused my foot to hit the ground on its side, sending a shock of pain up my leg. Luckily, my ankles are very flexible, so I was only slightly sore… but it showed me how close I came to injuring my ankle!

You can reduce your chances of spraining your ankle by wearing basketball ankle braces. They help bring stability to your ankle so you’re less likely to have a rollover incident. Most players I knew didn’t wear ankle braces until after they got hurt. I’d recommend wearing an ankle brace before you get hurt — especially because I’ve learned that spraining your ankle once makes you more susceptible to injuring it again in the future.

Ever since my injury I’ve really been more aware of how my activities affect my health, so wearing basketball braces is super important for anyone that wants to protect their joints while participating in sports. As with any injury, your doctor will be the best source of advice on the appropriate treatment for your situation.

Ankle Injuries in Basketball

The sport of basketball can be very demanding on the ankles. Running quickly down the court, changes in direction at high speeds, jumping for rebounds, landing, and the occasional collision with other players can cause the ankle to be overextended and overused.

The ankle is held in place by three major ligaments, which prevent the ankle from rolling too far forward, outward or inward. A twist or rollover injury of the ankle can cause a painful tear or rupture in these ankle ligaments. In addition, these injuries can cause instability and swelling, which makes it difficult for athletes to continue playing basketball immediately after an injury has occurred.

Ankle injuries must be taken seriously since this part of your leg helps support the weight of your entire body. An ankle sprain can cause even a simple activity, such as walking, to be extremely painful. A basketball player that has injured his or her ankle could be kept off the court for weeks, or even the rest of the basketball season. Make sure to protect and support your ankles when playing basketball by wearing basketball ankle braces.

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Why You Should Wear a Knee Brace When Playing Sports

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

Like most accidents, you never think it’s going to happen to you… until it does.

You’re healthy, you’re active – what could go wrong?

That was me before I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) when playing flag football. One moment I was blocking a linebacker, the next moment I was on the ground holding my knee.

I was lucky compared to most people who tear their ACL. I wasn’t in much pain, but I knew that my knee instability would prevent me from playing. What hurt was that it was the third play of first game of the day. But even that wasn’t what hurt me the most. Here’s what really pained me:

I could have prevented the ACL tear by wearing my knee brace.

That’s right. I had an ACL knee brace in my gym bag but I didn’t wear it because I didn’t think I needed it.

Now it’ll be about a year before I’m playing basketball and football again, after all the orthopedic doctor appointments and surgery recovery. Once I’m back on my feet you can bet that I’ll be wearing a knee brace when playing sports!