Case Report

Diagnosis and Management of Atypical and Persistent Anterolateral Knee Pain in a 16-year-old Triathlete: An Iterative Process.

Author: Pietrzak M

The subject of this case study, a 16-year-old female triathlete, presented to physical therapy, reporting a 6 month history of anterior knee pain, with symptoms unchanged upon resuming a graduated triathlon training program, despite 3 months rest from all training. This case report discusses the differential diagnosis and management of persistent and atypical anterior knee pain in a sixteen-year-old female triathlete. In such cases, the diagnostic process is often iterative, where intervention serves both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Specifically, this case describes the differential diagnosis and management of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), and discoid lateral meniscus (DLM) in an adolescent female triathlete. Clinical reasoning and rehabilitation strategies are presented with respect to literature base. Final outcome was full resolution of symptoms and return to full athletic function, however, symptoms were relatively persistent and atypical. Recent changes in the understanding of the pathophysiology of ITBS and links between the anterior and lateral knee compartments through highly innervated knee synovial tissue assist the therapist's understanding of how these conditions may occur concomitantly, with resulting atypical symptoms. The potential influences of likely changes in the subject's peripheral and central nervous system on symptom perception is also discussed.

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