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Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2018 Apr;47(4). doi: 10.12788/ajo.2018.0021.

Fat Fracture: A Rare Cause of Anterior and Medial Knee Pain in a Professional Baseball Player.

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American Knee Institute, Hinsdale Orthopaedic Associates, Westmont, IL.


Blunt trauma to the anterior knee typically results in a contusion or fracture of the patella. Additionally, injury to the extensor mechanism may come from a partial or full disruption of the patellar or quadriceps tendon. A professional baseball player suffered an injury to his knee after he collided with an outfield wall. Acute swelling in the suprapatellar soft tissues concealed a palpable defect, which initially was suspected to be an injury to the quadriceps tendon. Magnetic resonance imaging of the knee revealed an intact extensor mechanism; moreover, a fracture of the subcutaneous fat anterior to the quadriceps tendon was evident and diagnosed as a fat fracture. Fat fracture is a rare diagnosis, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported diagnosis in a professional athlete. Conservative management including, but not limited to, range of motion exercises, hydrotherapy, and iontophoresis effectively treated the athlete's injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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