BACKGROUND: Basketball consist on a contact sport that involved actions like running, jumps and abrupt changes in direction several times and these repetitive movements can lead to injuries. The objective of this study was to verify the epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries and risk factors in basketball players.
METHODS: The sample comprises 361 basketball athletes southern Portugal, being 238 (65.9%) males, aged between 10 to 53 years old. The instrument using for data collection was a questionnaire with questions about the population characterization and related to the basketball practice and injuries.
RESULTS: Two hundred and thirty-nine (66.2%) players referred an injury throughout their practice, totaling 494 injuries, and 174 (48.2%) players reported an injury in the previous year, with a total of 244 injuries. There were 2.72 injuries per 1,000 hours of basketball training. The most common injuries were sprain (43.8%), the most injured body area was the ankle (40.1%) and the principal injury mechanism was the impact with another athlete (19.4%). The basketball players who trained more than 4 times a week showed a 2.21 greater chance to develop injury (95% CI: 1.3-3.5; p=0.003) than those who trained less often.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a high prevalence of injuries in this analysed sample, being the ankle and knee the most injured body areas, the sprain the more prevalent type of injury and the impact with another player the main mechanism of injury. The data obtained can be used to create training programs with the objective of preventing injuries on basketball players.