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Guest post by:
Marty Travis
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

When most people think about basketball, they think about three-point shots, block shots and dunks. They usually do not consider the injury aspect of the game. According to a National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) study, basketball has the fourth-highest injury rate of any team or individual sport. I believe that injuries have a greater effect on team success in basketball than in any other sport due to the small number of quality players on each team. Most high school basketball teams have 12 to 15 team members. Of that number, no more than seven to nine get regular playing time. At smaller schools, that number may be as low as five. In high school basketball, one to two moderate injuries could ruin the team’s season.

Most high school basketball injuries are minor. The player may miss one day of practice or one game. The NATA study showed that 79.4 percent of boys’ injuries and 76 percent of girls’ injuries are minor. Moderate injuries that cause the athletes to miss eight to 21 days make up 12.4 percent of boys’ injuries and 15.1 percent of girls’ total injuries. The more severe injuries that force players to sit out for more than 21 days are 8.2 percent of boys' and 9 percent of girls’ total injuries. Looking at the statistics, there is a low risk of having more than two moderate to severe injuries per season, but believe me, it happens. After being in athletic training for over 35 years, I have seen teams go injury-free during their seasons, but I have also seen seasons ruined due to significant injuries to key players.

As many athletic trainers will tell you, most basketball injuries involve ankle sprain. The NATA study showed that 38.3 percent of boys’ and 36 percent of girls’ total injuries are to Basketball player in locker roomthe ankle and or foot. Most people think that knee injuries make up a high percentage, but the study showed that knees are involved in 10.3 percent of boys’ injuries and 13 percent of girls’ injuries. In my experience, most high school knee injuries involves tendinitis and patellofemoral pain, not the dreaded ACL tear that people think.

The situations for these injuries can be divided into three areas. About 35 percent of injuries happen in “loose ball situations” when players are diving from everywhere to tie the ball up. I do not know this percentage for college basketball, but it must be much lower because ball handling and passing skills are much better and there are fewer “loose balls.” The second situation when injuries occur is during regular play (about 30 percent) and the third is during rebounding (about 28 percent). With the latter two, I have seen mostly ankle injuries caused by either stepping on or getting stepped on another player. I have also seen many facial lacerations and eye injuries during rebounding situations.

Even though ankle sprains are the most common basketball injury, the athletic trainer must be prepared for anything. In my 35-plus years in athletic training, I have evaluated and treated almost every kind of injury from head to toe. I have seen concussions, lacerations, sprains, strains, dislocations, asthma attacks, panic attacks and many more injuries and illnesses. So when an athletic trainer is covering basketball, you must be ready for much more than ankle sprains.

Youth sports including little league baseball and softball are on the rise and as the spring season approaches, your MUSC Shoulder and Elbow team wants to make sure 2017 is the healthiest season yet. Come join us at the MUSC Mt. Pleasant clinic for a free overhead throwers’ community education workshop on February 4, 2017!Young boy pitching baseball

The workshop will be held 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will include talks from your nationally renowned MUSC Health surgeons, trainers, and sports medicine specialists. Topics include the biomechanics of pitching and throwing, training during and out of season, common shoulder and elbow injuries, as well as therapy to get back to play after an injury or period of rest. Refreshments will be provided and free physical examinations will be offered immediately after. Call 843-876-1119 to register. We hope to see you there!

Who: Youth overhead throwers and families

What: Free overhead throwers’ workshop

When: February 4, 2017, 10 a.m. to11 a.m.

Where: 1600 Midtown Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Whether by putting in the time and dedication to collect patient outcome scores or conducting cutting edge research, the Shoulder and Elbow Team at MUSC is dedicated to ensuring the best outcome for all of our patients.Headshot of Dr. Friedman

Dr. Richard Friedman recently published the largest study to date that explores the question of repairing part of the rotator cuff at the time of shoulder replacement surgery to optimize function and prevent complications like instability. The Rotator Cuff consists of four muscles that form a “cuff” around the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. These muscles are important for helping the ball of your humerus bone move in the socket and keep the shoulder joint stable and compressed.W-ray of shoulder with pins

Friedman et al.* found that all patients receiving a reverse shoulder replacement have significant improvements in pain, motion, function and outcome scores. Repairing the rotator cuff improved certain patient outcomes, but may be an implant-specific or patient-specific decision to be made between you and your physician. If you have concerns on the health of your shoulder let your Shoulder and Elbow team at MUSC take a look and put in the time and commitment to getting you and your shoulder back to health.

*Comparison of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty outcomes with and without repair of the subscapularis. Friedman, Richard J. et al. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery , Volume 25 , Issue 10 , e329 - e330

Guest post by:
Brittany Darling
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

As January quickly approaches, we find ourselves in the heart of basketball season, which from an Athletic Trainer’s perspective means the endless onset of ankle injuries. One of the most common injuries seen in the sport of basketball is the ankle sprain, and as the low-top shoe becomes ever popular this is not going to change any time soon. However, I find that rather than treat the issue once it occurs, why not try to prevent it from ever happening in the first place? Repetitive ankle injuries can be a nightmare in the middle of basketball season, leaving the athlete never quite feeling the same again. Below I will discuss some methods of prevention, in hopes that you can avoid this headache in the future.

  1. Protection. Ankle braces have gotten a bad name at times for making the ankle weaker. However, if you also work on the next steps, you will see that this certainly is not the case. The ankle brace simply adds extra support for those unfortunate landings on someone else’s foot, and they take the stress away from what the ankle joint would be feeling in this situation. I find that the braces that both lace up and have the straps work best, just make sure they are the correct size.
  2. Range of Motion. Improving ankle motion and the flexibility of the surrounding muscles are essential. When an ankle injury occurs, there is not just injury to the joint but also to the surrounding musculature, which results in an overstretching or a muscle strain. Performing a calf stretch where the toes are lifted up onto a wall will stretch the back of the ankle - this is the easiest stretch to perform. Also balancing on one foot, while rolling the other ankle side to side will get the rest of the ankle. It is important to not lose balance or control while doing this so you do not overstretch.
  3. Balance. Our ability to balance well, especially on one foot or while slightly off balance is something often forgotten about. I have found that the chronic ankle injuries often relate to an individual who has very poor balance. A basic way to work and improve balance is to start with a single leg balance, eyes open. Once this gets easier, progress to eyes closed. This will work something called your body’s proprioception, or its ability to know where it is in space without a visual aid. This is often a much harder step, and may take some time to master. From here, open your eyes and you can begin performing balance exercises on an unstable surface, or with the addition of hops and jumps. This will also stimulate a more sport specific atmosphere.
  4. Strength. The ankle joint performs four general motions; it can point the toe down, pull the toe up, point the toe out or point it in towards the center of the body. These motions work the surrounding musculature. Sometimes just doing them against gravity may be challenging enough, and then as it gets easier you can add a thera-band for resistance. I also like to include calf raises, first double leg and then progress to single leg, as well as heel and toe walks. If you have someone to work with you, they can also provide manual resistance with their hands if you do not have access to a thera-band.

As with all things, you do not want to overdo any of the above exercises. If at any point pain is felt, you may be doing something incorrectly, or may need to lower your repetitions. Any soreness can be treated with ice afterwards. I think it works well to try and incorporate some of the above into a daily warm-up routine before working out or practice, but if that does not work then performing them three to four times a week would also be sufficient, just make sure to try and be consistent.

Men who have had or will have a prostatectomy and are at high-risk of recurrence may be eligible for this study.

older man with doctorA research study at the Medical University of South Carolina is currently enrolling prostate cancer patients to a study of PSA-Targeted Immunotherapy product. The purpose of this study is to see how well this investigational product works in stopping prostate cancer from coming back or relapsing. This study consists of seven vaccine injections over the course of six months. Eligible patients must have had or are planning to have a prostatectomy within four months of enrollment and be considered high-risk for recurrence of disease. Not sure if you are at high-risk? Please contact Dr. Michael Lilly at or Mike Wheeler at to discuss your eligibility for study #102377.

IRB# Pro00054476. Date approved: 10/25/2016.

Learn more about clinical trials at Hollings Cancer Center.


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