SATURDAY, June 17, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Basketball is a favorite pursuit for many Americans, but it also tops a new list of sports that produce the most injuries.
More than 512,000 basketball injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2005, according to researchers at Loyola University Health System (LUHS), in Maywood, Ill.
The researchers analyzed data compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to arrive at the following injury list for 2005: basketball: 512,213 injuries; bicycles: 485,669; football: 418,260; soccer: 174,686; baseball: 155,898; skateboards: 112,544; trampolines: 108,029; softball: 106,884; swimming/diving: 82,354; horseback riding: 73,576; weightlifting: 65,716; volleyball: 52,091; golf: 47,360; roller skating: 35,003; wrestling: 33,734; gymnastics: 27,821; in-line skating: 26,935; tennis: 19,487; track and field: 17,306.
"Athletes, youngsters and weekend warriors alike can wind up in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to these sports," said Dr. Pietro Tonino, director of sports medicine at LUHS.
"The NBA and the World Cup [soccer] games may inspire people to try a new sport. But before they do, people need proper training and conditioning to reduce their injury risk," he added.
One of the most common injuries sustained in basketball, and many other sports, is a damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. Research has shown that females are more likely to tear an ACL than men. "In contrast to males, females tend to land from a jump with her knees locked, which puts added pressure on the knee. The result can be a sprain or a tear of the ACL," Tonino said.
"The ACL can be torn or sprained in sports where the athlete twists, jumps, lands, pivots, or suddenly stops. Such sports include basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, running, and skiing," he said in a prepared statement.
Tonino and his colleagues offer safety guidelines that may prevent such serious injuries. For example, he suggests bending the knees and hips when landing from a jump, to reduce shock to the joints.
To learn more, visit Loyola University Health System.