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Sports Medicine

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Sports Medicine
February 22, 2005
Episode Number
1.12 Rating
Guest Star(s)
Final Diagnosis
Zebra Factor

House: "He’s not going to sue…"
Cuddy: "…because his lawyer is a nice guy who realizes it’s unfair to blame us for ruining this kid’s hundred million dollar career."
House: "Good guess, but no. If Lupron causes respiratory problems it means he’s not on steroids. Which means there’s something else wrong with him, and the choices for that something else are almost universally… very bad."
— Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine is a first season episode of House which first aired on February 22, 2005. A famous baseball player coming off a drug suspension breaks his arm merely by pitching. Tests show that his bones are deteriorating and when a solution is proposed that will mean the death of the patient’s unborn child, House must scramble to find another treatment.


While demonstrating his pitches for a commercial, a baseball pitcher who is coming back from drug abuse feels his arm break while he goes through his pitching motion.

The pitcher is taken to Princeton-Plainsboro where they discover that he is suffering osteopenia, a weakening of the bone. House guesses when Wilson tells him about the case that the patient is young as that disorder is common in older men, and also deduces it isn‘t the most common cause, cancer, because Wilson would have found it himself. House then finds out that the patient is a famous baseball player. They can’t do the surgery to allow him to pitch again until they find the cause of the osteopenia.

Foreman is with his new girlfriend Sharon, a pharmaceutical representative. They make plans for later in the week. She leaves behind her panties for him.

The team starts the differential. They discuss cancer, but the tests for it are negative. House thinks it is his kidneys but Cameron believes House only thinks that so it will be a treatable condition. The pitcher has been gaining weight, so they believe it might be steroids. House knows that Foreman was lying about why he was late (he said he had car trouble).

Chase goes to the patient for a urine sample to test for steroids. The patient is used to them and thinks it might be for a drug test. The pitcher's wife said he gained the weight normally. Although the patient refuses to give a sample, Chase gets one from the urine collection bag.

While they test the urine, Foreman asks Cameron to cover for him, but she‘s busy. He tells her he‘s having dinner with a pharmaceutical rep and Cameron thinks it’s a guy she knows who tells bad jokes. Foreman doesn’t mention it’s a date.

Meanwhile, House is trying to get out of the clinic to run an errand, but Cuddy insists he stay the last fifteen minutes. To get out of it, he starts diagnosing all the patients in the waiting room. He finishes in about a minute.

The steroid tests are negative, but he shows elevated proteins that could indicate cancer. However, the cancer tests are negative too. House thinks that he's using a steroid that can't be detected. He goes to the patient and notices his testicles are undersized, another symptom of steroid use. He gives him medicine to treat the steroids.

The patient’s wife challenges him and Cuddy finds out. She notes the medicine will give him respiratory problems he hasn't been using steroids. House admits that if it isn't steroids, he doesn't know what it is, and if he does suffer respiratory problems, he will know he's on the wrong track.

The patient does develop respiratory problems, so the treatment shows its not steroids or cancer. They start looking at his symptoms again. Discounting the kidney problems, Chase says that Addison's disease accounts for all the other symptoms. However, the treatment for Addison's is steroids, which will destroy his kidneys if he doesn‘t have Addison‘s.

House speaks to the patient about his steroid use, and the patient still denies using them. House points out if he's lying, they can't treat him for Addison's. The patient finally admits that his coach put him on drugs five years before. He doesn't know what it was, but he gained muscle weight.

House tries to have Cuddy put the patient on the kidney transplant list. However, she points out they are not even sure the patient has Addison’s, so she refuses. The wife volunteers to be the kidney donor, but it is unlikely she is a match.

Foreman goes to meet Chase and Cameron at a bar and tries to get Chase to cover for him on Friday night, but he‘s busy at the oncology conference too.

Meanwhile, House has scored two all access Monster Truck tickets and wants to take Wilson, but he can't make it on Friday night because he's previously booked for the oncology conference. House says he will ask another friend, but Wilson is mystified about who it might be.

The patient’s wife is a compatible match, but is pregnant and can't undergo the procedure. The situation is complicated by the fact she hasn't told her husband she's pregnant. She agrees to have an abortion. The patient is dead set against the transplant if it means an abortion.

House asks Cameron to the Monster Truck show, as long as it is not a date. She agrees even though it will mean not going to the oncology conference. However, she tells him Wilson isn’t going to the conference - he cancelled. House realizes Wilson made up an excuse for missing the show.

The patient goes into distress as his potassium levels rise for no apparent reason. This rules out Addison's or steroids. His heart rate keeps rising. He's no longer stable enough for a transplant. Then his heart rate drops to 40 and House has no idea why. They discuss how they've treated him, and House rules the treatment drugs out as a reason why his heart rate is changing. The patient then starts having hallucinations. Wilson drops by and suggests digitalis would explain the new symptoms, but not the original symptoms.

House goes to speak to the patient's coach. He notices the coach has clubbing in his fingers from a heart problem. The coach takes digitalis for the heart problem, and House figures out that the patient stole the pills to try to kill himself - that's what is causing the hallucinations and fluctuating heart rate.

House talks to the patient. He still wants his wife to have the baby even if it means he will die. House agrees to treat the Addison's, but warns the patient his kidneys will probably fail.

House notes that the patient‘s urine collection bag spilled on him. He also calls out Wilson about why he really can't go out with him Friday night. Wilson admits he is going to dinner with Stacy. He thought House couldn't handle it. He asks Wilson to say hello for him.

The wife tells House she wants the abortion, but House dissuades her. House tells her that her husband will probably die, but the patient wants her to keep the baby. However, House notes that the wife can't smell the urine on his pants, even though she noticed they were wet.

The team discusses why House asked Cameron to go to the Monster Truck show. House finds the team at a restaurant and sends away the pharmaceutical rep on the theory that he knows she is sleeping with one of his team. He figures out it is Foreman. He discusses the case - they ruled out environmental causes because the wife was fine. He then tells the team that the wife's inability to smell must indicate that they both have cadmium poisoning. However, they can't find out what the source is. However, Chase figures out what the source is - cadmium laced marijuana. The pitcher and wife have both been using it, but the patient is still a heavy user.

The patient improves with treatment, but Cuddy figures he will be suspended because of his marijuana use. House admits to Cuddy that he falsified the patient's records to keep him from being suspended from baseball.

Foreman enjoys his dinner with the pharmaceutical rep.

Cameron enjoys the Monster Truck show. She asks House if he's ever been married. He tells her he lived with someone.

Zebra Factor 3/10 Edit

Cadmium poisoning isn’t terribly rare, but it tends to be found in workers who work with metal. Environmental exposure is somewhat more rare.

Major Events Edit

  • House gets two tickets to the biggest Monster Truck show in New Jersey.
  • Wilson is offered one of the tickets but pulls out, claiming he's speaking at the Oncology Dinner but it is revealed that he's meeting Stacy Warner, House's ex-girlfriend.
  • House and Cameron attend the Monster Truck rally together

Trivia & Cultural References Edit

  • Director and series co-creator Bryan Singer plays the director of the commercial being shot in the opening sequence.
  • The Yankees are yet another reference to baseball’s New York Yankees. It appears that House and Cuddy are not fans of the team, and the patient doesn’t play for them.

The Great Clinic Sweep Edit

To get away from the clinic, House diagnoses four clinic patients in 1 minute and 15 seconds. The diagnoses are:

  • House notices the first patient has a bridal magazine and worn athletic shoes. She’s complaining of leg pain. He figures she’s running to try to fit into her wedding dress and she’s overdone it. He tells her to get better shoes and run 2 miles less a day. Diagnosis - muscle strain.
  • The second patient says he can’t remove his contact lenses. House looks and finds he isn’t wearing any. The patient says his eyes are red from the irritation, but House tells him it’s because he’s trying to remove his corneas. Diagnosis - contact induced uveitis.
  • The third patient lists his symptoms and House notices he’s wearing dental scrubs. He realizes the patient has been overexposed to nitrous oxide. He tells him to either check for a leak or stop dipping into his supply, and to take some vitamin B-12. Diagnosis - nitrous oxide exposure.
  • The fourth patient says he can’t see, but then admits he’s got a hangover and needs a doctor’s note for his professor. House suggests he make friends with the dentist to get a sick note, plus some nitrous oxide to deal with the hangover. Diagnosis - hangover.


Links Edit

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