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What is a corked thigh?
A ‘corked thigh’ or quadriceps contusion is very common in contact sports and occurs when a direct force (e.g. a knee) makes contact with someone’s thigh i.e. during a tackle.
This direct blow compresses the quadriceps muscle into the underlying femur bone resulting in localised bleeding of the muscle.
How is it diagnosed?
Symptoms of a corked thigh can include pain, swelling or bruising, restricted movement and power. The extent of these symptoms will vary depending on the force of impact, type of contusion and grade of injury.
Corked thigh recovery time?
Recovery time can range from weeks to months. One thing that can influence recovery time is the type of contusion you have.
Types of contusions include intermuscular and intramuscular.
Intermuscular contusions involve tearing of the muscle and the surrounding sheath. Although there can be more bleeding with this type of contusion, recovery time is often faster.
Intramuscular contusions involve tearing of the muscle within the sheath that surrounds it. As the sheath is intact it causes an increased pressure within the muscle as the blood is unable to shift from the injury site. Recovery can take longer as a result.
In some cases, the bleeding and resultant hematoma can calcify and cause a painful condition called ‘myositis ossificans’ where bone tissue (calcium) forms inside the muscle, ouch! Luckily the body can reabsorb the bone over time.
How do I treat a corked thigh?
Correct management of a corked thigh is important and physiotherapy is very useful in speeding up the recovery process. Early mobilisation through massage, stretching and exercise is vital to ensure a quick and safe return to play.
Can you tape a corked thigh?
Yes. Your physiotherapy may choose to tape your thigh to help manage pain and aid healing. It is important this is applied correctly so it does not limit your mobility or the drainage of fluid.