Spontaneous Knee Effusion in an Adolescent Soccer Player

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Bernadette D. Buckley PhD, LAT, ATC*,1 and Christopher J. Joyce PhD, ATC, CSCS, CCRA*,1
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  • 1 University of North Florida
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A 13-year-old female recreational soccer player presented with spontaneous left knee effusion approximately 2 weeks after the start of soccer season. Radiographic imaging was negative, and a complete blood count identified an increase in inflammatory markers. Additional two-tier testing confirmed a Lyme disease diagnosis, which was unusual for an athlete residing in the southeast region of the United States. The presentation of knee effusion, and subsequently Lyme arthritis, is a common clinical manifestation of late-stage Lyme disease. Early recognition of this infection and prompt treatment by a variety of specialists reduce the severity or chronicity of symptoms.

The authors are with the Athletic Training Program at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Buckley (bbuckley@unf.edu) is a corresponding author.
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