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Common Injuries by Sport


​Anyone who's played a sport knows that injuries happen. Within each sport, there are certain types of injuries that occur more often. This is important to know if you, your child or another family member is thinking about taking up a sport.

The best ways to prevent sport-related injuries are to be in good physical condition, use proper equipment and play to your skill level. But remember that even with proper preparation, injuries are sometimes inevitable.

Football Injuries

Football is 100% a contact sport played at high speed and intensity, which means traumatic injuries are more common than in other sports. Football injuries aren't normally from overuse, but are due to the sudden, high-pressure contact in the sport. Common football injuries include:

  • Concussions
  • Torn knee ligaments or cartilage
  • Ankle sprains
  • Hip injuries
  • Quadriceps, hamstring and groin strains
  • Shoulder injuries

Basketball Injuries

Basketball is a fast-moving sport with a lot of quick movements, rapid change of direction and hard stops. These movements can result in falls or collisions with other players. Like football, basketball injuries can happen suddenly but young athletes are also vulnerable to overuse injuries. Common injuries include:

  • Concussions
  • Torn knee ligaments or cartilage
  • Ankle sprains
  • Jammed fingers
  • Shin splints
  • Contusions due to elbows
  • Foot fractures
  • Growth plate injuries or pain

Baseball and Softball Injuries

Just because they're classified as limited contact sports, baseball and softball still have risk of injury, no matter the level of play. Sudden injuries are possible due to sliding, diving for the ball and getting hit by a line drive or fast pitch. Repetitive motion and overuse injuries are common as the main movements involve throwing and batting. Injuries in baseball and softball include:

  • Growth plate injuries at the shoulder and elbow
  • Labral tears in shoulder joint cartilage
  • UCL tears in the elbow, which sometimes require surgery (Tommy John surgery)
  • Muscle and ligament strains and sprains
  • Concussions - most common with batters

Volleyball Injuries

Volleyball injuries can be both sudden or related to overuse. Prolonged swinging or jumping can cause pain and discomfort, and when not treated properly, sudden injuries during play can occur. Volleyball is also played on both hardcourts and on the beach, so the surface the sport is played on is important to consider. Some injuries to be aware of include:

  • Jumper's knee - patellar tendinitis caused by repetitive jumping
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder impingement, which can lead to a labral tear
  • ACL tears
  • Hand injuries from setting and blocking the ball
  • Lower back pain

Soccer Injuries

Soccer involves quick start-stop movements, brief but intense periods of running and sudden physical contact from another player or the ball. Most soccer injuries involve the lower part of the body, though concussions and clavicle breaks aren't uncommon. Soccer injuries can include:

  • Knee pain
  • ACL and meniscus tears in the knee
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendon strains
  • Hamstring strains
  • Lateral ankle sprains

You'll have questions if you or a family member suffers a sports injury, such as treatment, rehab and future prevention. The Boys Town Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine team is here to answer all your questions and develop an effective care plan. Talk to your doc or self-refer if you have an injury.​

Injury;Sports and Fitness Orthopaedics;Pediatrics