Sixteen Year Old Male, Lacrosse Player Diagnosed with a Grade Three Splenic Laceration: A Case Report

Student: Patrick Cronin*
Mentor: Theresa Miyashita
Major: Athletic Training

Objective: To illustrate the importance of recognizing clinical signs and symptoms of a splenic injury. To also show treatment options for individuals suffering from a splenic injury. Background: A 16 year old, high school lacrosse player receives a direct blow to the upper left abdomen resulting in a grade three splenic laceration. Athlete presented with Kehr’s sign and point tenderness over the upper left quadrant. Differential Diagnosis: The shoulder pain could have been diagnosed as a muscle contusion or bone bruise considering he was playing lacrosse and could have easily been hitting people. The upper left quadrant pain could have been diagnosed as musculoskeletal trauma or possibly a rib fracture. Treatment: immediate referral to hospital for further treatment. After diagnosis athlete was carefully monitored in the hospital for a week. Once released from the hospital athlete was instructed to refrain from excessive physical activity for 6 weeks and to avoid contact sports for 6 months. Uniqueness: This case was unique due to the fact that this athlete had no factors predisposing the spleen to injury. In a healthy individual, the spleen is well protected by the rib cage and is difficult to injure through a direct blow. Conclusion: Splenic injuries are significant injuries that healthcare professionals, especially first responders, need to be aware of. Recognition of signs and symptoms are crucial. Even though the athlete showed no predisposing factors the ATC was still able to diagnose the splenic injury and get the athlete proper treatment. Without proper treatment, the condition could have worsened and possibly lead to the death of this athlete

Key Words: Spleen, splenic laceration, athletic training, lacrosse, blunt trauma

*Honors Senior