Trauma Tuesday: Return to play following Infectious Mononucleosis


Did you know 110,000 condoms are being distributed across the 2018 Winter Olympics?

With all that extra interaction, there is a risk of sharing some pathogens. Let’s say one of the athletes arrives with complaints of malaise, fatigue, and pharyngitis. They also endorse some abdominal pain. After you rule out other causes your suspicion arrives upon mononucleosis.

The Question: How long do you advise that patient to stay away from contact sports?

The Answer: 28 days is when the majority of players can return to play though it should be tailored to the individual to minimize risk of splenic rupture. The risk is highest the first 21 days of illness and the risk is of rupture is less than 0.5%. A safe estimate would be 4-6 weeks for the spleen to return to normal size.


Learn More:

Becker JA, Smith JA. Return to play after infectious mononucleosis. Sports Health 2014;6:232-238.

Strange, G. R. (2015). Strange and Schafermeyer's Pediatric Emergency Medicine (4th ed.). Ch 26: Abdominal Trauma