What is quadriceps bruise?

Quadriceps Bruise
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Quadriceps bruise: Overview

The quadriceps is the big muscle that runs down the front of your thigh. Quadriceps bruises are often caused by a fall or a direct blow to the thigh. They are common injuries in people who play contact sports.

A quadriceps bruise may cause pain and swelling in your thigh. It may hurt to use your leg or bend your knee. You may have a red or black-and-blue area on your thigh.

To diagnose a quadriceps bruise, the doctor examines your thigh. You may also have tests to make sure you do not have a more serious injury, such as a broken bone or nerve damage.

A quadriceps bruise will usually get better in a few weeks with rest and home care. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy and exercises to stretch your leg muscles.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

How can you care for a quadriceps bruise?

  • Immediately after the injury, put ice or a cold pack on the injured area of your thigh for 20 minutes. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. While you apply ice, lie on your back. Bend your knee enough that you can feel a gentle stretch in the front of your thigh. Try to bend your knee to about 90 degrees. Use pillows to prop your bent leg up so you can relax in that position. Repeat the icing with your knee bent every 2 hours for the first 48 to 72 hours.
  • Rest your injured leg. Don't put weight on it for a day or two. If your doctor advises you to, use crutches to rest the leg.
  • Wrapping your thigh with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap) will help decrease swelling. Don't wrap it too tightly, though. A tight wrap can cause more swelling below the affected area.
  • Prop up your leg on a pillow anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Don't do anything that makes the pain worse. Return to your usual level of activity slowly.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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