Return to performance following severe ankle, knee, and hip injuries in National Basketball Association players

PNAS Nexus. 2022 Sep 4;1(4):pgac176. doi: 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac176. eCollection 2022 Sep.


The purpose of this study was to compare basketball performance markers 1 y prior to initial severe lower extremity injury, including ankle, knee, and hip injuries, to 1 and 2 y following injury during the regular National Basketball Association (NBA) season. Publicly available data were extracted through a reproducible extraction computed programmed process. Eligible participants were NBA players with at least three seasons played between 2008 and 2019, with a time-loss injury reported during the study period. Basketball performance was evaluated for season minutes, points, and rebounds. Prevalence of return to performance and linear regressions were calculated. A total of 285 athletes sustained a severe lower extremity injury. A total of 196 (69%) played for 1 y and 130 (45%) played for 2 y following the injury. A total of 58 (30%) players participated in a similar number of games and 57 (29%) scored similar points 1 y following injury. A total of 48 (37%) participated in a similar number of games and 55 (42%) scored a similar number of points 2 y following injury. Fewer than half of basketball players who suffered a severe lower extremity injury were participating at the NBA level 2 y following injury, with similar findings for groin/hip/thigh, knee, and ankle injuries. Fewer than half of players were performing at previous preinjury levels 2 y following injury. Suffering a severe lower extremity injury may be a prognostic factor that can assist sports medicine professionals to educate and set performance expectations for NBA players.

Keywords: data scraping; minutes; performance analytics; points.