by Laurie LaRusso, MS, ELS
Quadriceps strain is a partial tear of the small fibers of the muscles that make up the quadriceps group. The quadriceps are the large group of muscles in the front of the thigh. They consist of four muscles in each leg that run from the hips to the knees.
A quadriceps strain can be caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease, condition, or injury. Risk factors include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, your recent physical activity, and how the injury occurred. He or she will also examine your thighs for:
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
For severe quadriceps strains, you may have an MRI or an ultrasound. These tests determine if the tearing requires surgical repair. Sometimes athletes need these tests to help predict the length of their recovery.
Treatment depends on the severity of the strain.
Treatment usually includes:
If you are diagnosed with a strained quadriceps, follow your doctor's instructions.
To reduce the chance that you will strain your quadriceps:
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American Council on Exercise
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
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Last reviewed September 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 09/28/2012