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October 23, 1972

Medical News

JAMA. 1972;222(4):415-424. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210040003003

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Torn ligament—not synovial lining— underlies deceptive knee injury  At first, the coach didn't take the high school athlete's "knee injury" seriously. And for that matter, the player did not consider it serious, himself.He had only seemed to twist the knee while running down the football field, turning to receive a pass. There was little, if any, pain. The knee could bear weight.When the coach sent him back into the game, however, the player soon had to call it quits. Next morning, things were far worse, with extreme, painful swelling. He arrived at the physician's office on crutches.Conventional treatment followed. Months later, however, the young athlete felt his knee was vaguely unstable. He was no longer active in sports.Sound familiar? It did to Chambersburg, Pa, Surgeon Robert N. Richards, MD, who serves as a high school team physician. He also frankly admits that his first diagnoses were