Out for the Season

Basketball injuries can keep players off the court

The sweat filled gymnasium is accompanied with cheers of onlookers. The time is ticking, only seconds left on the clock. Sweat trickles down her forehead with a ball in hand. The ball bounces continuously in her hand as she runs down the freshly waxed floor.

Her eyes glance at her surroundings. The coast is clear for a split second. The opponent is behind running to catch up to the young athlete. She takes in a deep breath and begins to jump for a point. Her arms stretch to gain momentum and her feet jump off of the floor for height.

Allanah Wagner lets go of the ball and her feet land on the ground. Instead of a perfect shot like she had imagined, the ball came flying back at her and hits her finger.

This causes an immediately pain in her index finger and signals her coach to take her out of the game. Immediately, the game is stopped and she’s taken out of the game. She is rushed to the nurse and isn’t allowed to play for the rest of the game.

Allanah Wagner, a 15 year old freshman plays for the Big Sky freshman team and says her experience is similar to many others.

There are significant numbers of sport related injuries each year. Although there are many sports, the most prominent sport where injuries occur are from basketball. Basketball has more sport injuries than any other sport. Some of these injuries end student athletes careers. Not only is it heartbreaking to the student and the family, it also affects the fans. Many of these injuries can actually be avoided by being aware of the individual’s surroundings.

Finger Jam

The most common injury is the jammed finger. The injury occurs when the finger contacts the ball and causes significant pain in the joint. A simple way to repair the joint is to apply ice and compress it with a splint. If pain persists then the person should consult a physician for an x-ray.

Wagner still remembers the pain. Wagner says that it’s as if someone repeatedly slammed her finger against a car door. She says, “It really hurt. I could barely move my finger.”

Her life outside of sports is still as hard. She can barely type on a computer. She says it’s as if she had left no hand. “My splint has made my life really hard. I can barely do my homework on a computer. Thankfully I’m not a leftie!”

To this day, she still continues to go to practice and games with her team. She doesn’t stress herself about not being able to play. The young basketball athlete only wishes that she could have prevented her injury.

“I really love to play basketball, but I have no one to blame except myself for my jammed finger. Next season I will definitely be more careful with how I play.”

Ankle Sprain

The next injury is the ankle sprain. Treatment of the injury depends on the severity and the age of the person. Treatment oftenly done on a sprained ankle has an acronym commonly known as RICE, otherwise known as rest, ice, compression and elevation. But if the injury is in a child who is still growing, it could result in a growth plate injury.

Damyelle Walker, a nurse at Big Sky, says the ankle sprain is one of the most common sports injuries that she sees. “I usually see around twenty ankle sprains every few months.”

Now, what causes an ankle sprain? Most sprains happen when sudden movement occurs in a foot. Ankle sprains commonly happen through sports like football, soccer. Usually, the ankle rolls forward and the foot rolls backwards. This causes the ankle ligament to stretch and then tear.

Walker treats the sports injury just as many other professionals. She applies ice as the student rests. “After that I compress the injury and elevate it. Other than that, there isn’t much I can do with an ankle sprain.”

The ankle sprain may seem serious, in some cases it is. But Nurse Walker usually only does follow up treatment on the ankle sprain. These follow up treatments are usually not very serious. Most of the time the students say that it only hurts mildly.

Injury Prevention

Walker also mentioned how to avoid these types of sports injury. She says that most students are clumsy and don’t realize the consequences. “Many students don’t realize their actions. Careful playing can lead to almost no injuries every sports season. Being careful with the ball is also the most important thing when playing a sport.”

Not only does she mention this, she also says that exercising is an important factor in recovery. “Exercising can really help the process of healing. In fact, most professional physical therapists recommend exercising.” Walker hopes that every student athlete will be self aware and take care of themselves.

Everyone should always be careful and exercise correctly in order to be safe from small injuries to career ending injuries.

Wagner also agrees that being careful is very important when playing basketball. She says, “If I had been more careful while playing, I could’ve prevented my injury.”