Sports injuries - by the numbers

The most common sports injuries in basketball

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Authors: Truveta Research Truveta, Inc, Bellevue, WA
Date: March 10, 2023



With more than 36 million Americans estimated to be filling out a men’s NCAA bracket during 2023, we were curious to understand basketball injuries, especially for those in the 18-24-year-old age group. The objective of this study was to understand which body locations were associated with basketball-related injuries and if there was variation by age and sex groups.


We defined basketball-related injury encounters using a subset of ICD10 codes. We describe the demographics of those with basketball-related injuries and where they presented at the health system (i.e., emergency department or outpatient facility). We also classified the injured or affected body part and describe differences by demographic factors.



We identified 60,607 people with 69,184 basketball-related injury encounters. People between the ages of 14-25 made up more than half of the populations with basketball-related injuries, and the majority of the population was male (81.3%). While most of the population (88.7%) presented in the emergency department, the percentage was higher for males compared with females (88.2% compared to 82.2%).

Most basketball injuries were associated with the lower extremities (40.3%) and upper extremities (28.0%). The percentage of injuries that affected each body part were similar across sexes (within 2%), with the exception of lower extremity injuries and concussion/TBI. Females with basketball-related injuries experienced a higher rate of concussions (6.4% compared with 2.6%), while males had a higher percentage of lower extremity injuries (41.6% compared to 34.9%). Across each age group, the 14–18-year-old age group had the highest rate of concussions (1.5%).



In the population of people experiencing basketball-related injuries, we saw that nearly a quarter of the males experiencing injuries were within the 18-24 age range (age of NCAA tournament players). We also saw this population of males experienced the highest percentage of injuries in their lower extremity. However, with females, we saw an increase in concussions for this age group. Athletic trainers and medical staff should be prepared for these types of injuries during the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.