Background: Injury patterns in elite athletes over long periods continue to evolve. The goal of this study was to review of the injuries and medical conditions afflicting athletes competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) over a 17-year period.
Design: Descriptive epidemiological study
Methods: Injuries and player demographic information were reported by each team's athletic trainer. Criteria for reportable injuries were those that resulted in (1) physician referral, (2) a practice or game being missed, or (3) emergency care. The demographics, frequency of injury, time lost, and game exposures were tabulated, and game-related injury rates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results: A total of 1094 players appeared in the database 3843 times (3.3 ± 2.6 seasons). Lateral ankle sprains were the most frequent orthopaedic injury (n, 1658; 13.2%), followed by patellofemoral inflammation (n, 1493; 11.9%), lumbar strains (n, 999; 7.9%), and hamstring strains (n, 413; 3.3%). The most games missed were related to patellofemoral inflammation (n, 10 370; 17.5%), lateral ankle sprains (n, 5223; 8.8%), knee sprains (n, 4369; 7.4%), and lumbar strains (n, 3933; 6.6%). No correlations were found between injury rate and player demographics, including age, height, weight, and NBA experience