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Morel-Lavallée Lesion of the Knee in the Young Athlete

About 2 Cases After Sports Trauma

Divjak, Natalie, MD; Kwiatkowski, Barbara, MD; Tercier, Stéphane, MER

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001704
Illustrative Case: PDF Only

Background Differential diagnosis of soft tissue swelling on exposed body parts in the young athlete is large and mostly includes benign self-limiting conditions, once underlying lesion to the bone, the cartilage, and the ligaments is excluded. Morel-Lavallée lesion represents a rare soft tissue injury requiring prompt intervention to ensure favorable outcome.

Cases A 10-year-old boy presented with 2-week-old swelling of the medial side of the knee without recent traumatic event. Unawareness of Morel-Lavallée lesion in the differential diagnosis led to delayed diagnosis and treatment. A 16-year-old boy came to our pediatric tertiary care center with a similar presentation and history. Timely intervention allowed for favorable outcome and early return to play.

Conclusions Morel-Lavallée lesion is a rare entity in the pediatric population, although underreporting due to unfamiliarity with the diagnosis is highly probable. Raising awareness among professionals in charge of young athletes should allow for better reporting as well as for elaboration of a standardized treatment plan, including rapid intervention and early return to play.

From the Division of Surgery of the Child and the Adolescent, Department Woman-Mother-Child, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Natalie Divjak, MD, Centre Universitaire Romand de Chirurgie Pédiatrique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Rue du Bugnon 46, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland (e-mail:

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