The 2017 NCAA’s major basketball tournament March Madness has officially begun! College basketball garners a lot of attention during these few weeks, and it is always a time of excitement, upsets, disappointments and triumph for many teams.
For those who are unfamiliar with college basketball, 64 teams are divided into their geographic regions (Midwest, West, South, and East), and each round half of the teams are eliminated until the final champion wins on April 3rd!
This exciting tournament is an opportunity for many to enjoy watching talented players, but it is also a time when we see the risks of injuries are apparent. The feet and ankles are especially vulnerable in a sport like basketball that involves jumping, running, and quick movements. The following are common injuries that arise:
- Ankle sprains – Sprains are the most common of basketball injuries, during which ligaments on either side of the ankle bone become overstretched or injured.
- Fractures – Remember Kevin Ware’s graphic compound fracture during the 2013 semi-finals that went viral? High jumps involved in basketball can create an enormous force on the bones if landed improperly, which can create damage to the bones. Fractures can be slight like a crack, or a full break or through the skin like Ware’s. Luckily with prompt medical attention and time to recover, he returned to playing professionally.
- Achilles tendinitis – Repetitious jumping and running can cause the Achilles tendon to become overused and inflamed.
For anyone playing basketball, proper footwear, stretching and strengthening exercises, and staying hydrated are important ways to prevent injuries. Any discomfort or pain should be consulted with a foot care specialist to minimize damage and get relief. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists are committed to providing individualized foot and ankle care for patients of all ages. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen use advanced technologies like Tenex and laser nail treatment and help to treat common conditions like plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, neuromas, arthritis, nail fungus, and toe deformities. Contact our offices in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA for an appointment!