Return to performance following severe ankle, knee, and hip injuries in National Basketball Association players.
Bullock GS., Ferguson T., Arundale AH., Martin CL., Collins GS., Kluzek S.
The purpose of this study was to compare basketball performance markers 1 y prior to initial severe lower extremity injury, including ankle, knee, and hip injuries, to 1 and 2 y following injury during the regular National Basketball Association (NBA) season. Publicly available data were extracted through a reproducible extraction computed programmed process. Eligible participants were NBA players with at least three seasons played between 2008 and 2019, with a time-loss injury reported during the study period. Basketball performance was evaluated for season minutes, points, and rebounds. Prevalence of return to performance and linear regressions were calculated. A total of 285 athletes sustained a severe lower extremity injury. A total of 196 (69%) played for 1 y and 130 (45%) played for 2 y following the injury. A total of 58 (30%) players participated in a similar number of games and 57 (29%) scored similar points 1 y following injury. A total of 48 (37%) participated in a similar number of games and 55 (42%) scored a similar number of points 2 y following injury. Fewer than half of basketball players who suffered a severe lower extremity injury were participating at the NBA level 2 y following injury, with similar findings for groin/hip/thigh, knee, and ankle injuries. Fewer than half of players were performing at previous preinjury levels 2 y following injury. Suffering a severe lower extremity injury may be a prognostic factor that can assist sports medicine professionals to educate and set performance expectations for NBA players.