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Quadriceps Strain

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by LaRusso L

(Pulled Quadriceps)



Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, your recent physical activity, and how the injury occurred. Your thighs will be examined for:
  • Tenderness and/or bruising directly over the quadriceps
  • Pain or weakness when contracting the quadriceps, particularly against resistance
Images may be taken to see how severe the injury is with:
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:

Grade 1

  • Some stretching with small tears of muscle fibers
  • Complete recovery can take 10-21 days

Grade 2

  • Partial tearing of muscle fibers
  • Recovery can take up to 1-2 months

Grade 3

  • Complete tearing of muscle fibers, which is also known as a rupture
  • Recovery can take more than three months
  • Surgery may be needed to repair the torn muscle fibers


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:


American Academy of Family Physicians

American Council on Exercise



The College of Family Physicians of Canada

Canadian Physiotherapy Association



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Douis H, Gillett M, et al. Imaging in the diagnosis, prognostication, and management of lower limb muscle injury. Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2011;15(1):27-41.

Garrett WE, Kirkendall DT. Exercise and Sports Sciences. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2000.

Muscle strains in the thigh. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Available at: . Updated August 2007. Accessed September 17, 2013.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.


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