The Quadriceps muscle group is situated on the front aspect of the thigh and each individual muscle collectively allows movement to occur between the hip and knee joints. The powerful muscle group is comprised of four major muscles; Rectus Femoris, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Medialis and Vastus Lateralis. These muscles are used in activities such as running, walking and climbing stairs. The main function of the muscle group is to assist with hip flexion and knee extension. Due to the powerful contraction of these muscles, they are susceptible to injury and may include the associated tendons. The degree of the injury may vary from mild strains to severe tears and ruptures.
Causes: Overexertion of the muscles and tendons are a known factor in the development of acute or chronic muscle and tendon strains. Activities such as sprinting or any other activity that involves explosive movements that exert a lot of force on such muscles can lead to injury. Direct trauma to the muscle such as in a rugby tackle or any other form of ‘dead-leg’ may produce a contusion within the muscle tissue.
Symptoms & Diagnosis: The symptoms will depend on the type and severity of the injury. The symptoms can range from different variations of pain, swelling and bruising. Associated loss of strength and range of movement may be present. A complete rupture of the patella tendon may be evident following a ‘popping’ noise accompanied with severe pain and swelling.
Management: Early physiotherapy is recommended to control the symptoms and allow an efficient return to full function and sporting activities. A tear or rupture if left untreated may lead to severe pain and restricted mobility. In extreme cases, this can lead to a very painful condition called Myositis Ossificans. This is where the bone exhibits growth within the muscle tissue.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.