Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
May 8, 2016: According to the NBA the most prevalent injuries that sideline players are those involving ankles (19.5%), knees (13.9%), thighs (9.7%) and the neck and/or back (9.3%).
In the current post-season alone, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were among the players who missed games due to significant injury. (Chris Bosh has missed the entire playoffs due to a blood-clot issue.)
In 2013, the NFL joined with GE Healthcare and Under Armour to "find and fund ideas to develop new solutions to diagnose and protect against traumatic brain injury."
In 2015, in an effort to "better understand, prevent, diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries," the NBA and GE Health united to launch the Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Collaboration.
As with the NFL-GE Healthcare alliance, the NBA-Ge Healthcare alliance issued a call for proposals from doctors, researchers, hospitals and others that would address the issue, with several to be selected to receive grants to help fund their work.
“Tendinopathy — and specifically that involving the patellar tendon — is a common issue among basketball players at all levels,” Dr. John DiFiori, the NBA’s director of sports medicine, said in a statement. “The NBA is pleased to work with GE Healthcare to fund additional research in this area to increase our understanding of this condition as we seek to improve health outcomes and limit the impact on athletic performance for NBA players and the general population.”
Last week, the NBA and GE Healthcare unveiled he first round of winning research proposals, which focus on tendon injuries, specifically in the knee and ankle.
The proposals came from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (Dr. Jill Cook); two from the University of Calgary (Dr. W. Brent Edwards, Dr. Carolyn Emery), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr. Kenneth Lee); the Hospital for Special Surgery, NY (Dr. O. Kenechi Nwawka); and Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam (Dr. Edwin H.G. Oei).
Full details on the proposals can be found here.
A second call for proposals, to deal with acute myotendinous injuries (focusing on injuries related to the knee), is scheduled for June.
“NBA players are among the best in the world, and the NBA is committed to their health and well-being, which is why we’re excited to team up with GE Healthcare and leading researchers for the benefit of the players and our game,” David Weiss, NBA vp/assistant general counsel, said in a statement.
“The projects we’re announcing today include important areas of focus for the NBA including injury prevention and youth health, as well as advanced technologies and methods such as new approaches to imaging, wearable technology and biomechanics," said Weiss.
According to John M. Sabol, PhD, chief scientist for GE Healthcare’s Global Research Organization,“The collaboration between GE Healthcare and the NBA has provided a unique opportunity to do high impact research.
"This call for proposals attracted dozens of high-quality submissions from leading tendinopathy researchers. Selection of the winning projects was a challenging task, relying on an independent scientific review panel of 22 academic and clinical experts to evaluate the scientific merit of the submitted research projects," said Sabol.
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