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Quadriceps strain injuries often happen:

  • In sports that require sudden forceful lengthening of the muscles.
  • When high forces occur across the muscles and tendons during contraction of the muscles.
  • When contraction of a maximally stretched muscle occurs.
  • When a muscle is fatigued.
There are three main mechanisms of injury for a quadriceps strain:
  1. Sudden deceleration of the leg (e.g. kicking).
  2. Violent contraction of the quadriceps (sprinting).
  3. Rapid deceleration of an overstretched muscle (change of directions).

Quadriceps Mechanism of Injury

The most common injury to muscles of the knee is a quadriceps strain.Quadriceps injuries are common in atheles and active people. The muscels are prone to strain during explosive movements.The rectus femoris muscle is the most commonly injured quadriceps muscle.Injury to the vastus muscles are less common however vastus intermedius is the more commonly affected by contusions (muscle brusies).Injury to the quadriceps tendon is uncommon.

Quadriceps Muscle Injury

Muscle strains can be grade as: Grade I (mild) - limited muscle fibres affected, mild pain and/or tightness no decrease in strength, full range of motion.Grade II (moderate) - nearly half of muscle fibres are torn, significant acute pain, swelling, minor decrease in muscle strength, some loss of function (i.e. difficulty walking).Grade III (severe) - complete rupture, severe swelling and pain, significant bruising, complete loss of function (i.e. inability to walk).

Quadriceps Strain:Signs & Symptoms