The article is about a sixteen year old girl who was strengthening her gymnastic skills by performing a floor routine. During her routine, her right knee gave out. She was taken to an emergency room in Spokane, Washington. Unfortunately, this was not the first time this incident occurred. The sixteen year old gymnast had a history of knee injuries. Approximately two years ago she underwent surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament repair on the same knee.
Subjective and objective data was obtained. The young teen had localized swelling and pain in her right knee. An examination consisting of an ap, lateral, both obliques were done on the affected knee. The radiographs showed visible signs of bone irregularity in the center of the knee joint. It was then said that the female gymnast had early degenerative joint disease. The radiographs also showed unusual densities in the soft tissues of the distal femur.
The unusual densities were present in all films, but, mainly on the lateral and oblique projections. Technical factors, which included the radiographic table, the film, and cassettes used were checked and were not a probable cause of any film artifact.
Unusual densities located on or near a bone could lead to potential malignancies. Osteogenic sarcoma, Chondrosarcoma and neoplastic lesions were not ruled out. Osteogenic sarcoma was the number one concern for the patient. Osteogenic sarcomas occurred mainly in the age group ranging from ten to twenty-five years old. Symptoms include localized pain and swelling of the knee. These symptoms were also present with the gymnast.
The patient and her mother were informed of the irregular radiographs. The patient mentioned how she uses chalk to dry sweaty hands to prevent slipping during her routines. After this was recognized, the patient was told to wash and clean the affected area. The examination was then repeated and the irregular density was no longer present on the film.
This article was of great interest to me. I found myself wanting to know more about Osteogenic Sarcoma and the affect it has on individuals in my age group. The more I researched , the more I was intrigued. I would have never guessed that something as simple as chalk dust would great affects on a radiograph.