Objective: To identify and quantify, to the best extent possible from the existing literature, injury characteristics and factors (risk; protective) associated with injury in young basketball players.
Data sources: Database searches principally involving Medline and SportDiscus. In addition, web-based searching and filtering of the reference lists of papers found in the preliminary searches were utilized.
Main results: Few well-controlled studies of this population have been conducted. However, from the information available: basketball is the most frequent cause of sports-related emergency department visits for youth and adolescents; the risk of being injured in a game is greater than for practice; girls are more likely to be injured than boys, especially with knee and ankle injuries and the knee injuries are more likely to be severe; acute injuries are more common than chronic; strains/sprains are the most common types of injuries but overall time loss is minimal, indicating that the majority of pediatric basketball injuries are minor (less than 7 days away from activity). Intervention studies show that: mouthguards reduce orofacial/dental injuries; mouthguard use can be increased in young players; neuromuscular training can reduce the incidence of knee injuries in female participants; postural sway is related to risk of ankle injury.
Conclusions: The current state of epidemiological research involving youth and adolescent basketball injuries is poor. With an increasing number of young participants, in situations ranging from informal play and physical education classes to organized community and school teams, the need for comprehensive and authoritative information on risk and protective factors is significant.