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Incidence and pattern of injuries among adolescent basketball players in Nigeria

Oluwatoyosi Babatunde Alex Owoeye*, Ashiyat Kehinde Akodu, Bayonle Matt Oladokun and Sunday Rufus Akinwumi Akinbo

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Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

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Citation and License

Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology 2012, 4:15  doi:10.1186/1758-2555-4-15

Published: 4 May 2012



Basketball is the second most popular sport in Nigeria after football and is commonly played by adolescents. Prospective studies on adolescent basketball players in Nigeria are lacking. Such studies will help to develop injury counter-measures. Hence, this study aimed at determining the incidence and pattern of injuries among adolescent basketball players in Nigeria.


A prospective observational study involving 141 adolescent basketball players (75 boys and 66 girls; with age range 15 – 18 years) who participated in the 2010 National Finals of the Nigeria Nestlé Milo Basketball Competition. Basketball-related injury data were collected by an assessor during the competition using a standardized basketball injury report form. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.


A total of 32 injuries were recorded with an incidence of 22.7 injuries per 100 participants same for boys and girls. This is equivalent to 1.1 injury per match for boys and 0.9 injuries per match for girls. Jumping/landing was the most common cause of injury (28.1%, N = 9). Most of the injuries were at the lower extremities (75%, N = 24); with majority at the knee joint (40.6%, N = 13). Ligament sprain was the most common types of injury. The pattern of injuries among boys did not significantly differ from that of girls (P > 0.05). Most injuries (N = 13, 41%) occurred in the offensive half of the court and cryotherapy was the most frequently used treatment modality.


The overall incidence of match injury among adolescent amateur basketball players during a national competition in Nigeria was 22.7 injuries per 100 participants; equivalence of 1.0 injury per match. The pattern of injuries was similar in both genders and consistent with what has been previously reported in literature for adolescent basketball players. Exercise-based injury prevention programmes aimed at improving core strength and neuromuscular control at the lower limbs may help reduce the incidence of injuries.