Q. Dr. Selesnick, I was playing basketball and got kneed in the front on my thigh last week. It really hurt and I had to stop playing. That night my thigh swelled and my thigh and knee got stiff. I rested it but it still hurts and I walk with a limp. I thought it was just a bruise but now I am startling to worry. Will my leg go back to normal soon or should I see a doctor?
A. An athlete that sustains a knee or kick to the front of the thigh usually has an injury known as a quadriceps muscle contusion. The degree of muscle damage, tearing and bleeding depends upon the force of the blow.
Initial treatment requires rest, intermittent ice packs and a compressive wrap for at least 48 hours post-injury followed by a rehab program. The goal of the treatment is to decrease swelling, decrease pain, restore normal range of motion, and ultimately to regain normal muscle strength and flexibility.
I do recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon to help determine how bad the contusion is and direct a rehab program to get you back to sports as quickly and safely as possible. In many sports such as football and basketball, thigh pads can decrease the severity of injury leading to fewer games lost to these injuries.
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Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net.