Student Author(s)

Colin Drinkard

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Kirk Brumels and Professor Tim Koberna

Document Type


Event Date



Football is comprised of intense, high-velocity movements that result in relatively high injury rates at all levels of athletics. Knowledge of how to adequately prevent, evaluate, treat, and rehabilitate sports related injuries is imperative for medical professionals, especially athletic trainers. Specifically, knee internal derangement is a common set of pathologies in football athletes; the structures involved mainly include ligamentous and cartilaginous structures. In our case, a 19-year-old collegiate football player experienced a Grade-III PCL sprain, Grade-I MCL sprain, tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, and a lateral tibial plateau fracture with accompanying traumatic synovitis, all in response to a hyperextension mechanism. Internal knee derangement is commonly associated with a hyperextension mechanism; however, the specific combination of structures involved in this case is quite unique, allowing for in depth discussion on the intricacies of knee anatomy and biomechanics as discussed in peer reviewed research. Further, our case’s specific combination of pathologies complicates the injury evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation phases of care. This case highlights the role of athletic trainers in diagnosis and how to adequately prioritize care for an athlete suffering from multiple concurrent pathologies; each varying in their severity, ability to heal through natural processes, and timeline for return to play. Through applying the principles and take home points of this case, medical professionals may further prevent, evaluate, treat, and rehabilitate sports related injuries.