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Death After Closed Adolescent Knee Injury and Popliteal Artery Occlusion


A healthy adolescent male soccer player sustained a radiograph-negative, effusion-negative physeal injury of the proximal tibia from a ground-level fall with traumatic occlusion of the popliteal artery. Orthopaedic evaluation and arteriography were delayed for 72 hours after the injury. He arrived at a tertiary referral center in multisystem organ failure secondary to lower extremity ischemic necrosis, septic pulmonary thromboembolism, and systemic shock. Emergent medical evaluation, a high index of suspicion, and a careful neurovascular examination are imperative after every closed knee injury in the young athlete.

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