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Stress Fractures Are Common Among Basketball Players

Stress Fractures Are Common Among Basketball Players

It seems like the sports world took a collective gasp as word of Louisville’s Kevin Ware’s broken leg went viral. If you saw it live or watched the replays, you more than gasped.

Ware, who plays for the #1 rated Louisville Cardinals, went down in the first half of the Elite Eight game against #2 Duke. He jumped up to contest a three-pointer and came down funny on his leg. As it buckled under him and snapped, the entire Louisville team grimaced; some dropping right to the court themselves. Because of the gruesome nature of the accident, Ware’s leg was quickly covered by towels as he was surrounded by trainers and medics. Later in the game after he’d been carried off on a stretcher, the sideline reporter announced that he had indeed broken his leg. Again, this was obvious already to anyone who had already been watching the game.


Some early speculation is that Ware possibly had a stress fracture in his leg already. “Basketball players are prone to stress fractures in the tibia, the larger of these two bones, and that can weaken them,” Dr. Reed Estes said.

“If these are not detected they can result in a full fracture, particularly if the landing mechanics are just right” after a jump, Estes said. Surgery to stabilize the bones is usually successful, and Ware should be fine to play next season, he said.

Unfortunately, stress fractures are fairly common for basketball players. “Stress fractures can occur from a rapid increase in activity level or training or from over-training. Stress fractures in basketball most commonly occur in the foot and lower leg (”

These fractures are incomplete fractures and not always debilitating; remember when Anthony Davis (former UK basketball star and rookie for the New Orleans Hornets) suffered from one in his foot earlier this year? He took proper precautions and rested his foot in the hopes that it would heal up with no further incident. He made the right decision.

We have no way of knowing yet if Kevin Ware was already suffering from a stress fracture before his unfortunate accident tonight and a subsequent broken leg, but we’re sure that everyone wishes him a speedy recovery.

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