Brief Outline of Thigh Bruise or Contusion

A thigh contusion is actually a deep bruise to the muscles of the quadriceps or hamstrings near the femur. The bruising causes pain and limited flexibility in the muscle. High impact sports such as football or hockey are commonly associated with thigh bruising, but any activity that could result in falling on or getting hit in the thigh can cause a contusion.

Anatomy and physiology

The musculature of the thigh includes the quadriceps, comprising: vastus lateralisvastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and semimembranosus. An impact to any of these muscles squeezes the muscle between the impacting force and the femur. This causes bleeding in the muscle near the femur. This in turn causes the formation of scar tissue that reduces muscle function. The swelling and bruising from the bleeding causes pressure on the surrounding muscle fibres reducing flexibility.

Cause of Thigh Contusion

Impact to the muscle from a blunt surface such as the ground, a helmet, foot etc.

Signs and symptoms

Pain and tenderness over the injured area. Swelling and bruising may be present. Pain with weight bearing and stretching of the muscle.

Complications if left unattended

Myositis offificans, which is characterised by the formation of bony deposits or by ossification in the muscle tissue, can develop from unattended thigh contusions. Muscle ruptures can also occur when a contusion is left untreated and activity is continued.

Treatment

Rest and ice. Anti-inflammatory medication. Physiotherapy.

Rehabilitation and treatment

After the pain subsides it is important to regain flexibility and strength in the injured muscle. Gentle stretching will improve flexibility and help to avoid scar tissue formation. While the muscle is healing, working the surrounding muscles as tolerable may help to speed recovery by increasing blood flow and limit scarring. Use of proper protective equipment during activities and avoiding impact to the thigh will help prevent thigh contusions.

Long-term prognosis

Proper treatment of a thigh contusion will ensure that there are no future complications. Flexibility and strength should return to normal after rehabilitation of the injured muscle.

Joint Pain

Brief Outline of Biceps Brachii Bruise

Bruising to the biceps brachii can occur following tearing and/or rupture of the biceps brachii tendon, or trauma to the muscle. The biceps brachii tendon attaches the biceps brachii muscle to bone in the shoulder region. Overstrain from weight training can cause tears and bruising, which may also result from throwing sports or following direct trauma to the shoulder during a fall or collision with another athlete.

Anatomy and physiology

The biceps brachii muscle is located on the front of the upper arm, and operates over three joints. Its function is to allow bending of the arm and to support loads places on the arm. This muscle has two parts, known as the long head and short head, both connected to bone via the biceps brachii tendon. This muscle runs down the anterior or front side of the upper arm and allows motion of the forearm towards the shoulder (elbow flexion). The biceps brachii muscle also allows turning the hand face down or face up. This is known as pronation or supination of the forearm.

Cause of Biceps Brachii Bruise

Direct blow to the biceps brachii region of the upper arm. Biceps brachii rupture. Repetitive tearing of the biceps brachii muscle or tendon.

Signs and symptoms

Discolouration of the biceps brachii area. Aches or pain in the biceps brachii. Stiffness and limitations of movement in the affected arm and shoulder.

Complications if left unattended

Bruising of the biceps brachii generally resolves itself without treatment. Sports involving heavy use of the biceps brachii muscle including weight training and throwing sports, and contact activities with high risk to the biceps should be avoided pending adequate time for healing.

Treatment

  • Immobilisation with a sling to prevent excess movement
  • Physiotherapy

Rehabilitation and prevention

Rest and avoidance of activities involving stress to the biceps brachii muscle and tendons during the healing phase are generally sufficient. Range of motion exercises and graded strength training should be undertaken to restore full power and resilience to the muscle. Stretching exercises performed before athletic activity may help prevent injury and associated bruising to the biceps brachii.

Long-term prognosis

Bruising to the biceps brachii is generally a minor condition that is self-correcting without resort to surgery, given adequate time for healing. No long-term deficit in strength or mobility is expected.

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