October 5th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Quadriceps Contusions

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Quadriceps Contusions

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Quadriceps Contusions

A quadriceps is one of the most common injuries seen in athletes competing in contact sports and results from a direct blow to the front of the thigh. The quadriceps muscle group is a group of four muscles that are located on the front of the thigh and are collectively responsible for hip flexion and extension of the knee. They are characterized by pain along the injury site, marked swelling, pain with range of motion, decreased strength, and loss of overall function.

A deep quadriceps contusion can be one of the most disabling injuries for an athlete because injury to these muscles can severely impact an athlete’s ability to effectively use his/her leg. The injury is graded in terms of severity: Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III. The most severe can result in broken blood vessels resulting in bleeding (hematoma) into the injured area and crushed muscles tissue resulting in hip/knee dysfunction.

If there is a major untreated and/or unresolved bleeding deep into the muscle, a serious condition known as Myositis Ossificans can occur. Myositis Ossificans is the result of a hematoma within the muscle that calcifies rather than heals, resulting in bony growth deep in the muscle. Treat all quad injuries seriously.


1. Initial treatment consists of ice/rest/compression and limited weight bearing.

2. Initially you may also allow gentle range of motion, quadricep isometrics, then progress to mild stretching and gradual strengthening.

3. Progress to sport specific drills in a pain free fashion, and progress with strength and restoration of full range of motion.


Treat all quad injuries seriously as mismanagement early on can create a situation as described above. An athlete that is treated properly may still lose time off his/her sport of 1-2 weeks. Mismanagement of a quad injury can result in the season being lost.

By: Tom Mooney, P.T.

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790

Website: louortho.com

Find us on FACEBOOK




Recent Articles