Prevention and treatment of foot and ankle diseases in children who play basketball.

Basketball is a popular sport in our country, especially these days as it’s been giving us thrills.
The successes of our National team will surely impress many children who might want to emulate the deeds of Italian players.
My opinion? Let them do what they want, with no worries! There are many reasons to support this passion and the benefits far outweigh the risks.
As an Orthopedic Surgeon, I can say with knowledge that the child’s foot and ankle will benefit from a significant proprioceptive stimulation due to the frequent sprints, sudden changes of direction, hard stops and many jumps and landings.
I confirm to all moms that the most common risk incurred by a budding basketball player is the ankle sprain. Landing on an opponent’s foot after a jump under the basket can be the cause of a sprain, perhaps painful, but most of the times without major consequences. Getting some rest and a short period of rehabilitation are almost always the best recipe for a prompt return to the usual physical activity.

Children can start playing basketball around 5/6 years old. Being a team sport, it encourages socialization, integration into a group, solidarity and sportsmanship.

I see all the time boys and girls who want to play basketball. Among the many, years ago I had the pleasure to meet Chiara, a child who is today a beautiful girl and a very good basketball player. Here I asked her to tell her story as an evident sign of the many good things that this sport can offer.

“My name is Chiara, a 20 year old girl and I’ve been playing basketball, without interruption, since I was 8. I think it’s important to play a sport as a child because it helps you to develop your motor skills and to grow up personally: both in dealing with other people and putting yourself to the test and improve.

Among all the possible sports, I chose basketball and I’m proud of it.

Along the way, together with the other members of my team, we’ve learnt about the strengths and weaknesses of each one of us, so that the group could work well together towards the common goal of having fun and winning and, above all, of sharing the joy of victories and the sadness of defeats.

Playing basketball is challenging. Training and matches during an entire season imply that you have to organize your time in order to be always present and, at the same time, to manage other activities too, first of all studying.

Basketball is my escape, a space of my own where I only think of playing. It has always helped me to recharge my batteries. Its precise rules require concentration and dedication and teach to respect your companions, opponents and referees.

The match is the real test; dealing with opponents who are strong, but never unbeatable, is pure adrenaline. The playing field becomes your arena, a perfect synthesis of everyday life’s challenges. Trainings, physical exertion, disappointment to overcome, joy to be lived to the full…

Basketball for me is all about that, mind and heart in unison, a way of life and a lifestyle to get inspired with.”