Quadriceps Contusion

A quadriceps contusion is a deep bruise of the large muscle in the front of your thigh. Contusions are the result of an injury that caused bleeding under the skin. The contusion may turn blue, purple, or yellow. Minor injuries will give you a painless contusion, but more severe contusions may stay painful and swollen for a few weeks. It is necessary to follow your caregiver's directions when this muscle is bruised.

CAUSES

A quadriceps contusion comes from a blow or injury to the front of the leg.

SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling and redness of the thigh area.

  • Bruising of the thigh area.

  • Tenderness or soreness of the thigh.

  • Limping.

  • Leg stiffness.

  • Difficulty bending the leg.

  • Trouble walking.

DIAGNOSIS

You will have a physical exam and will be asked about your history. You may need an X-ray of your leg.

TREATMENT

Often, the best treatment for a quadriceps contusion is resting and elevating the leg and applying cold compresses to the thigh area. Over-the-counter medicines may also be recommended for pain control. You may need crutches, an elastic wrap, or a leg splint.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Rest the injured thigh until the pain and swelling are better.

  • Elevate your leg to reduce swelling. Lie down flat on your back and place a pillow under your knee.

  • Apply compression wraps as directed by your caregiver. You may remove it for sleeping, showers, and baths. If your toes become numb, cold, or blue, take the wrap off and reapply it more loosely.

  • Walk or move around as the pain allows, or as directed by your caregiver. Resume full activities only when your caregiver says it is okay. Returning to your usual activities before your caregiver approves may cause worse damage to the muscle.

  • See your caregiver as directed. It is very important to keep all follow-up referrals and appointments in order to avoid any long-term problems with your leg, including chronic pain or inability to move your leg normally.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have increased bruising or swelling.

  • You have pain that is getting worse.

  • Your swelling or pain is not relieved by medicines.

  • Your toes or foot become cold or turn bluish in color.

  • You notice your thigh getting larger in size.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.