Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

I don't think I've ever participated in any competitive or recreational basketball league without seeing fellow players get hurt. Athletes are bound to get hurt with all the running, quick changes in speed, sharp turns, jumping, and landing in basketball. The most common injuries are knee injuries and ankle injuries.

The knee is susceptible to injury during basketball because of the pivoting involved with the sport. This positioning puts the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) at risk, especially if another player collides with you. I've also witnessed fellow teammates injure their ACL during layups or even when no other player is near them. I've also known basketball players who experience patellar tendonitis, which means that their tendon in the kneecap is inflamed. This is usually caused by overuse to the knee.

You can help prevent knee injuries during basketball by wearing basketball knee braces. They reduce the amount of time your knee is at an "at risk" position for ligament tears and may be helpful in preventing non-contact ACL tears. Knee straps for basketball may also help prevent inflammation of the patellar tendon, which may help keep you on the court.

The ankle is susceptible to injury during basketball because of all the turning and jumping in the sport. One simple misstep can cause the ankle to rollover, stretching the ligaments in your ankle and causing an ankle sprain. I still remember going up for a rebound and landing on another player's shoe. This caused my foot to hit the ground on its side, sending a shock of pain up my leg. Luckily, my ankles are very flexible, so I was only slightly sore... but it showed me how close I came to injuring my ankle!

You can reduce your chances of spraining your ankle by wearing basketball ankle braces. They help bring stability to your ankle so you're less likely to have a rollover incident. Most players I knew didn't wear ankle braces until after they got hurt. I'd recommend wearing an ankle brace before you get hurt -- especially because I've learned that spraining your ankle once makes you more susceptible to injuring it again in the future.

Ever since my injury I've really been more aware of how my activities affect my health, so wearing basketball braces is super important for anyone that wants to protect their joints while participating in sports. As with any injury, your doctor will be the best source of advice on the appropriate treatment for your situation.