Common Basketball Ankle Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Last Updated on: 28th September 2023, 09:48 pm

Are you tired of being sidelined by ankle injuries on the basketball court? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

In this informative article, we will explore the most common types of ankle injuries that basketball players face, along with the symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments.

But that’s not all – we’ll also share valuable tips to help you prevent these pesky injuries and stay in the game.

Prepare to take your basketball skills to new heights while keeping your ankles strong and healthy.

basketball ankle injury

What Are Some Of The Most Common Basketball Ankle Injuries?

Some of the most common basketball ankle injuries include:

  • Ankle sprains are the most common acute injuries in basketball, often resulting from sudden blows or twists. They primarily affect the outside (lateral) ligaments of the ankle. Lateral ankle ligament sprains account for 80.2% of all ankle sprains among professional basketball players.
  • Plantar fasciitis: This condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin and long band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Repetitive activity, such as running, can cause this foot area to become inflamed and result in heel pain.
  • Achilles tendonitis: Basketball players may experience inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This condition can cause pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle.
  • Stress fractures: Overuse and repetitive impact can lead to stress fractures in the foot and ankle. These are small cracks in the bones that can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Fifth metatarsal avulsion fractures are often associated with ankle sprains and occur when a tendon or ligament pulls a small piece of bone away from the main bone.

Ankle Injury Symptoms in Basketball

Your basketball player’s ankle injury symptoms can include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankle. These symptoms can indicate various common ankle injuries during basketball games or practices. The table below provides a comprehensive overview of ankle injury symptoms, their common causes, and the specific area of the ankle joint that is affected.

Ankle Injury SymptomsCommon CausesAffected Area of Ankle Joint
PainLigament sprain, fracture, tendonitisLateral or medial ligaments
SwellingLigament sprain, ankle impingementJoint capsule or soft tissues
BruisingLigament tear, fractureBlood vessels and tissues
Difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankleLigament sprain, high ankle sprainWeight-bearing structures and ligaments

If your basketball player experiences any of these ankle injury symptoms, it is crucial to promptly seek medical attention to prevent further damage and ensure proper treatment.

Basketball Ankle Injury Diagnosis & Treatment

If you suspect a basketball ankle injury, it’s important to promptly consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Recent studies have shown that ankle injuries are common in basketball, with the Boston Celtics being one of the teams most affected.

The first step in diagnosis is a physical examination, where the healthcare professional will assess the severity of the injury and identify any underlying causes. They may also order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs to further evaluate the extent of the injury.

Treatment options for basketball ankle injuries typically include rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

In more severe cases, immobilization with a cast or brace may be necessary, and physical therapy may be prescribed to aid in rehabilitation and prevent future injuries.

It’s crucial to follow the healthcare professional’s recommendations and complete the entire course of treatment for optimal recovery.

Ankle Injury Rehab & Recovery in Basketball

Start rehabilitating your basketball ankle injury as soon as possible to ensure a speedy recovery and return to the court. Ankle injuries are common in basketball, with players at all levels, including the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, experiencing them.

The rehabilitation aims to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and regain strength and stability in the ankle. Initially, treatment may involve rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and non-weight-bearing exercises. As symptoms improve, gradually returning to weight-bearing activities, such as walking and jogging, can be introduced.

Physical therapy exercises, such as ankle stretches, strengthening, and balance training, are essential for a successful recovery. It’s important to follow a structured rehabilitation program and work closely with a healthcare professional to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of reinjury.

Tips to Prevent Basketball Ankle Injuries

Wear proper footwear and avoid sudden movements to minimize the risk of ankle injuries while playing basketball. Here are some tips to help you prevent basketball ankle injuries:

  • Choose the right shoes: Opt for basketball shoes that provide proper ankle support and stability. Look for shoes with high tops or ankle straps to prevent excessive ankle rolling.
  • Warm up and stretch: Before playing, perform dynamic warm-up exercises to increase blood flow and improve flexibility in the ankle joint. Incorporate ankle rotations, calf stretches, and lunges into your warm-up routine.
  • Strengthen your ankles: Perform exercises that target the muscles around the ankle, such as calf raises, ankle rolls, and toe raises. Strengthening these muscles can enhance stability and reduce the risk of ankle sprains.
  • Practice balance exercises: Incorporate balance exercises, such as single-leg stands and wobble board exercises, into your training routine. These exercises can improve proprioception and help prevent ankle injuries.


In conclusion, preventing basketball ankle injuries is crucial for players to stay on the court.

Understanding the different types of ankle injuries, recognizing their symptoms, and seeking proper diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Rehabilitation and recovery play a vital role in getting back to the game.

Players can significantly reduce the risk of ankle injuries by following preventive measures such as wearing supportive shoes, using ankle braces, and practicing proper warm-up exercises.

However, further research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of these preventive strategies and enhance player safety.