Sports Medicine: Quadriceps Contusion

A Spine Center physician reviews an X-ray.

Quadriceps Contusion

What is a quadriceps contusion?

A quadriceps contusion is a deep bruise to your thigh. Your quadriceps, often referred to as “quads” and thought of as one muscle, is actually a group of four muscles (hence the “quad”) at the front of your thigh. These muscles are responsible for both hip flexion and knee extension, so if they are damaged by an impact (a contusion), you may develop symptoms in both of those joints.


Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Pain, swelling, and difficulty flexing your knee — or pain when doing so — can surface in varying degrees. Because impact to this area can cause a lot of damage, you should monitor your symptoms carefully. A condition known as myositis ossificans — when a hematoma calcifies, or becomes bone, rather than healing — can result from lack of or improper treatment.


A common injury in athletes, this condition is caused by a direct, forceful impact to the front of the thigh. The impact presses the muscle tissue against the femur, which can result in broken blood vessels and crushed muscle tissue.


“Since these injuries are most likely to have occurred during sports, the most important thing is to get off the field,” says Robert DeFalco, DO, an orthopedic physician at OINJ. “You don’t want to risk more bleeding into the thigh, which is what will happen, since exertion will make the heart pump blood faster around the body. Ice at the site of injury, with the player in the right position, should be applied as soon as possible. Wrapping and compression are generally recommended as well.”

“After a physical exam and medical history, an MRI might be indicated to make sure there isn’t an acute rupture of the tendon or muscle. If that is clear, cautious exercising and monitored, specific physical therapy can follow after a few days. No so-called pushing through pain, here — it might cause more damage,” adds Rehan Shamim, MD, another orthopedic physician at OINJ. “Surgery is only necessary in extreme cases, but contact sports will need to be restricted.”

Why Choose The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey

At OINJ, board certified physicians work collaboratively to come up with the best solutions for you. Using innovative techniques and the most up-to-date research and technologies available, our specialists have one goal: to get you back into the best of orthopedic health. We work with each other, as well as with other partners in your care, to develop the treatment plan that will work for you.

Our multiple office locations that can be reached by one centralized call center make it easy to schedule and get to appointments, and we treat patients of all ages with injuries and orthopedic conditions of all kinds.

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Featured Physicians

Robert A. DeFalco, Jr., DO – Orthopedic Physician

Board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic surgery, Dr. DeFalco’s areas of expertise include arthroscopic surgery of the knee and shoulder, articular cartilage transplants, ligament reconstruction, meniscal repair, and orthopedic sports medicine.

Dr. DeFalco completed a sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery fellowship at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, and did his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) — Kennedy Health System. He received his medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in College Park.

Rehan Syed Shamim, MD – Orthopedic Physician

Dr. Shamim held his fellowship in orthopedic sports medicine at the UCLA Medical Center. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He received his medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he was president of his medical school class. Dr. Shamim earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University.

Before joining OINJ, Dr. Shamim served as assistant team physician for the UCLA Bruins, where he treated many Olympic, professional, and NCAA Division I athletes. His areas of expertise include shoulder and knee injuries and arthroscopic and open surgery of the shoulder, knee, and hip.

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The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey is a premier multi-disciplinary center offering complete orthopedic care, rehabilitation and pain management services to patients of all ages and activity levels using a customized treatment plan to fit individual needs.

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