What is a quadriceps contusion?

A quadriceps contusion occurs from a direct blow to the front of the thigh. It can be a very painful injury. It commonly occurs in contact and collision sports, such as football, soccer, and rugby. The injured athlete will often have swelling and sometimes significant bruising at the point of impact. He will have a lot of pain at the site of contact, and he usually will complain of pain using that leg, such as difficulty running.

Treatment of a quadriceps contusion

Treatment is usually symptomatic, meaning that the goal is to get the swelling and pain down. Having the athlete rest with the knee bent can help keep the swelling down, and ice is helpful as well. Most physicians advise against aggressively trying to stretch out the quadriceps muscle in the first few days. Typically as swelling and bruising improve, motion and strengthening can be started. When the motion and strength of the knee improve, jogging and sport-specific drills can be instituted. Nonsurgical treatment is almost always effective for this injury. Occasionally a condition called myositis ossificans can develop, where bone forms in the area of the quadriceps contusion. This rare complication can be a significant limitation to activity. The time it takes to get back to sports is variable, but usually the athlete can return in days to several weeks.

Athlete getting massage on quadriceps contusion to help recovery after a workout

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