CLINICAL FEATURES: A 27-year-old male patient visited a chiropractic clinic 6 months after a twisting injury to his left hip which occurred while playing tennis. His pain had remained moderate in intensity and intermittent to frequent in frequency since it originated but became more intense the week prior to his visit.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was diagnosed with a tendonitis/bursitis and received 3 weeks of treatment. Care consisted of various forms of passive modalities to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as hip mobilization and tissue stretching. Plain film examination was then performed, due to lack of progress, and revealed a possible chondroblastoma of the femoral head. The patient was referred to his primary care physician (PCP) for follow-up imaging. Surgical resection of the lesion occurred approximately 2 months later. Biopsy of the resected cells confirmed a new diagnosis of clear cell chondrosarcoma. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest was performed to rule out metastasis to the lungs. Regular follow-up care and imaging continued and revealed, 9 months following, that the femoral head lesion had returned and hip replacement surgery would be needed.
CONCLUSION: Tendonitis, bursitis, and sprains commonly occur following sports-related trauma to the appendicular skeleton. A conservative trial of care should be performed on suspected soft tissue injuries. However, when lack of improvement occurs within the first month, further examination, special studies, or referral are warranted to ensure a proper diagnosis and to rule out a pathological condition.
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