Quadriceps Contusion of the Thigh

Quadriceps contusion is a bruise of the large muscle in the front of your thigh. It comes from an injury, such as getting hit while playing football. It is necessary to follow your caregiver’s directions when this muscle is bruised. There can be bleeding into the muscle. This can cause calcifications (myositis ossificans). This is bone forming in your muscle. This is rare.


  • Often the diagnosis can be made by examination

Home Care Instructions

  • While awake, apply ice to the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes four times per day for the first 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag. Place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin
  • Keep your knee elevated. One way to do this is lie down with a pillow under your knee when lying flat on your back
  • If a compression bandage such as an ace wrap was applied, use it until you are seen for a follow-up examination. You may remove it for sleeping, showers, and baths. If the wrap seems to be too tight and is uncomfortable or your toes or foot is getting cold or blue, remove the wrap and reapply it more loosely. If this is done make sure your thigh is not getting larger in size
  • For activity, walk or move around as the pain allows, or as instructed. Resume full activities as suggested by your caregiver. This is often safest when the strength of the injured leg is up to about 90% of your good leg
  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not take aspirin for the first few days as the bleeding into the thigh muscle may be increased. Only use these if your caregiver has not given medications that interfere.

Seek Medical Care If

  • You have an increase in bruising, swelling or pain
  • You notice coldness or blueness of your toes or foot
  • You do not get pain relief with medications
  • You have increasing pain in the area and seem to be getting worse rather than better
  • You notice your thigh getting larger in size

For more informaiton about quadriceps contusion, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).