Few studies have described injuries among female professional basketball players. The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of injuries among Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players during the 2017 season.
Injury data from the 2017 WNBA season (May 3, 2017 to October 4, 2017) was collected from Rotowire and analyzed on Microsoft Excel. Position information was collected from the WNBA official website. A reportable injury was defined as an injury that occurred during organized practice or competition and required treatment. Average game time missed by position and body part was calculated. Data was organized by body region, injury type, and player position.
72 injuries from 51 players were reported via Rotowire for the 2017 season. 11 out of 72 (15.3%) injuries required surgical intervention during the season. The most common injury was an ankle sprain (n = 11, 15%) and the most injured body part was the knee (n = 26, 36%). Guards were most injured (24/51; 47%). On average, power forwards missed 10 games, the most of any position during the season.
Ankle injuries were the most common type of injury reported. Guards suffered the most injuries, underwent the highest number of surgical interventions, and were more likely to be considered ‘out for season’ than other positions. While this data is consistent with injury reports on female collegiate basketball teams and international professional basketball teams, more data is necessary to determine the epidemiology and outcomes of injuries sustained in the WNBA.