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Anterior Thigh

Your physiotherapist will assess you and then design a structured rehabilitation programme to take you back to full function. Tearing of muscle tissue in this part of the body requires careful management of scar tissue and a progressive return to function. Treatment may include:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Scar tissue management
  • Exercises to glide the femoral nerve
  • Passive range of movement at the knee joint
  • Weaning from walking aid
  • Gait re-education
  • Stability exercises
  • Concentric and eccentric muscle loading activities
  • Taping for pain, proprioception and to reduce swelling
  • Therepeutic ultrasound
  • Progressive return to sport/activites


Examples of Conditions Treated

Quadriceps tear
The quadriceps are a group of four muscles that attach to the front of your thigh bone. They straighten the leg at the knee and help flex the hip. If the muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits the tissue can tear. The tear is classified depending on its severity as a first, second or third degree strain:

A first degree strain is damage to a few muscle fibres, there may be a sensation of cramp or tightness and a slight feeling of pain when the muscles are stretched or contracted.

A second degree strain is damage to a more extensive number of muscle fibres and is classified as a moderate injury. Because there is a greater amount of tissue damage, a second degree strain will have significant impact on the functional ability of the leg. A patient may have swelling, localised bruising, muscle spasm, tenderness over the injury site, reduced or limited range of motion, and weakness in the muscle. Over the next few days the bruising may track down the front and middle of the leg because of the effect of gravity.

A grade three strain is a complete rupture of the muscle either within the muscle belly or at the musculotendinous junction (where the muscle and tendon connect). There is an immediate burning or stabbing pain and the patient is unable to walk without pain. The muscle is completely torn and there may be a large lump of muscle tissue above a depression where the tear is. There is normally extensive bruising that appears shortly after injury and may be down the whole of the leg.

Quadriceps Contusion (bruising)
Because of where they are, the quadriceps can be subject to direct blows during sporting activities or in accidents. A deep quadriceps contusion can severely impact a patient’s ability to effectively use their leg.

Following a direct blow to the muscle belly, blood vessels can be broken and there will be bleeding (haematoma) into the injured area. Occasionally, instead of laying down the right cells to repair the soft tissue, the body lays down bone cells. A patient will develop calcific growth deep in the muscle tissue known as  myositis ossificans. A myositis ossificans can cause significant pain and disability for any patient and prove devastating to an athletic career.

Femoral Stress Fracture
A stress fracture is a crack in your bone caused by overloading it. Most femoral stress fractures occur at the femoral neck. The femoral neck is under the femoral head (ball) and links it to the long shaft of the femur.

Stress fractures can be caused by a sudden increase in training (mileage, intensity, frequency), or by a change in terrain whilst running (road to track for instance). Biomechanical imbalance within the body and nutritional deficiencies can also be causative factors.

The most common and noticeable symptom of the femoral stress fracture is a deep thigh or groin pain particularly during activity.