Muscle cramps are commonly observed in collegiate athlete-patients; however, the condition may be a symptom of severe disorders. In particular, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) may be a possible diagnosis and involves a decreased number of platelets in the bloodstream. We describe a 21-year-old collegiate player of American football with initially presented with cramping of the neck, abdomen, and forearms. Although findings of physical examination were normal, results of laboratory tests indicated ITP, and the patient was hospitalized for 3 days until the platelet count increased. Because the levels continued to decrease at 6-month followup, splenectomy and use of rituximab agents have been discussed with the patient for treatment after the end of the football season, before which dexamethasone will be administered to maintain a minimum platelet count of 50. Physicians should consider coordinating traditional care and specialist consultation to help treat severe conditions such as thrombocytopenia in athlete-patients.
Leinhart, James A.; Shane P. Cass; Matthew A. Tennison; Ronica A. Martinez; and Christopher A. McGrew. "Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura in a 21-Year-Old Collegiate Football Player: A Case Report." UNM Orthopaedic Research Journal 5, 1 (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/unm_jor/vol5/iss1/32