Quad Muscle Injury Treatment for Active Individuals in Lafayette, LA
The quadriceps is a group of four muscles at the front of the thigh – the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and the rectus femoris – that connect to the knee at the top of the kneecap. Crucial for walking, running, jumping, and squatting, these powerful muscles bend and straighten the knee, propel the leg forward, stabilize the body, and absorb shock.
When strenuous activities are performed without adequate warm up, the quadriceps muscles are vulnerable to injuries ranging from minor strains to complete ruptures. For instance, if a sudden motion overpowers the strength of the muscle fibers, a quad muscle injury can result. This is especially common in runners and athletes who play football, basketball, soccer, volleyball or baseball. Other factors such as muscle fatigue, tightness, and imbalances can further increase the risk of quadriceps injuries.
What does a quadriceps injury feel like?
When a quad muscle injury occurs, a “pulling” or “snapping” sensation may be felt at the front of the thigh, followed by pain, swelling, and bruising. Quad injuries are generally categorized by their symptoms:
- Grade 1 – Mild discomfort and no loss of strength
- Grade 2 – Moderate pain and swelling with some loss of strength
- Grade 3 – Severe pain and an inability to walk
How to recover from a quad muscle injury
Treatment for a quadriceps injury can vary depending on the severity of the pain and other factors, so it’s important to consult with a physician. If you’re in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area, you are encouraged to talk with Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. After evaluating your quad muscle injury, Dr. Vizzi will discuss an appropriate treatment approach. In general, for a Grade 1 or minor Grade 2 injury, treatment may involve PRICE therapy, which includes protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
To promote the healing of a quad muscle injury, it is also important to gently move the leg as tolerated. This may be accomplished with short walks on level ground or in a pool. The pain and other symptoms should gradually improve over the course of approximately two weeks.
Surgery may be discussed to repair a complete quad tendon injury. Usually, a surgical repair is protected with a knee immobilizer or leg cast. The use of crutches or a brace can allow for gradual weight bearing as tolerated. Later, strengthening exercises may be added to the rehabilitation program.
If you would like to explore your treatment options for a quad muscle injury, contact Dr. Vizzi’s office to schedule a consultation in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Vizzi has the specialized expertise necessary to effectively address your injury, reduce your pain, and help you get back to your active lifestyle.