Overuse injuries are common in basketball. To gain insight into their etiology and relationship to mechanics, researchers and clinicians need an understanding of the normal biomechanics of the sport. This study was undertaken with this goal in mind. Lower extremity joint kinematics and structural parameters were collected from 24 players from five professional basketball teams as they performed maneuvers typical of their sport. The results indicated that certain common moves such as the layup landing resulted in knee flexion velocities almost double those seen during the landing phase of running. Lateral movements such as cutting and shuffling placed the foot in extreme positions of supination. Both of these findings have implications for injuries common to basketball such as patellar tendinitis and ankle sprains. It is hoped that this information will initiate a database for normal lower extremity kinematics during basketball and lead to a greater understanding of the relationship of lower extremity movement patterns and injury.
McClay is with the Physical Therapy Department, 305 McKinly Lab, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. Robinson and Valiant: Nike Sports Research Laboratory, Beaverton, OR. Andriacchi: Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago. Frederick: Exeter Research, Brentwood, NH. Gross: Department of Orthopedics, State University of New York, Stony Brook. Martin: Exercise and Research Laboratory, Arizona State University, Tempe. Williams: Physical Education Department, University of California, Davis. Cavanagh: Center for Locomotion Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.