Background: With more than a million high school athletes playing during the 2006-2007 academic year, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States.
Hypothesis: Basketball injury rates and patterns differ by gender and type of exposure.
Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.
Methods: Basketball-related injury data were collected during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 academic years from 100 nationally representative US high schools via Reporting Information Online.
Results: High school basketball players sustained 1518 injuries during 780 651 athlete exposures for an injury rate of 1.94 per 1000 athlete exposures. The injury rate per 1000 athlete exposures was greater during competition (3.27) than during practice (1.40; rate ratio, 2.33; 95% confidence interval, 2.10-2.57) and was greater among girls (2.08) than among boys (1.83; rate ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.26). The ankle/foot (39.7%), knee (14.7%), head/face/neck (13.6%), arm/hand (9.6%), and hip/thigh/upper leg (8.4%) were most commonly injured. The most frequent injury diagnoses were ligament sprains (44.0%), muscle/tendon strains (17.7%), contusions (8.6%), fractures (8.5%), and concussions (7.0%). Female basketball players sustained a greater proportion of concussions (injury proportion ratio, 2.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.49-3.91) and knee injuries (injury proportion ratio, 1.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-2.30), whereas boys more frequently sustained fractures (injury proportion ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-2.77) and contusions (injury proportion ratio, 1.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-2.31). The most common girls' injury requiring surgery was knee ligament sprains (47.9%).
Conclusion: High school basketball injury patterns vary by gender and type of exposure. This study suggests several areas of emphasis for targeted injury prevention interventions.