Causes: The typical cause of a quadriceps contusion is a direct blow to the anterior (front) thigh. This injury typically presents in contact sports. A quadriceps contusion can vary from a mild bruise to a severe bruise with a deep haematoma (blood pool) that can take months to heal. Moderate to severe contusions may result in the formation of myositis ossificans (calcium deposit) within the muscle. A myositis will result in the long-term loss of strength and function. The impact of this injury can often go untreated and therefore needs to be taken seriously.
Symptoms: Quadriceps contusions can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms include pain at the site of injury, weakness and pain in the quadriceps, tightness/swelling of the quadriceps and often the inability to actively bend the knee.
Treatment: Straight after the injury, patients should utilise the RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) principle, limit the loss of stretch and seek an opinion. The recovery time frame varies depending on the severity of the contusion and the best way to guarantee a quicker recovery is to seek early management.
Many of these injuries will settle with no consequence, however, on occasion they can be quite serious.