Corked Thigh

Corked Thigh

Article by John Miller

What is a Corked Thigh?

(Also known as: “Dead Leg”, Quadriceps Contusions, “Charleys Horse”)

A corked thigh is very common in contact sports. In simple terms, your thigh muscles are usually “kneed” by an opponent during a tackle or similar impact. You crush the muscle tissue against the underlying bone. The muscles’ effect causes significant bruising and bleeding, both intramuscularly and between the muscle and your femur (thigh bone).

Its damage can often be much more than you might expect for such a simple cause. Treat with respect.  If not treated correctly or if treated too aggressively, then myositis ossificans may result.

There are Two Types of Contusion

Intramuscular Contusion

An intramuscular contusion is a tearing of the muscle within the sheath that surrounds it. The initial bleeding may stop early (within hours) because of increased pressure within the tissue. However, the fluid is unable to escape the muscle sheath. The result is considerable loss of muscle function, power and pain, taking days or weeks to recover. You are not likely to see any bruising come out with this type – especially in the early stages. Physiotherapy and carefully performed massage therapy assist a speedy recovery. These interventions are essential to prevent functional morbidity related to the significant compression issues and myositis ossificans.

Intermuscular Contusion

An intermuscular contusion is a tearing of the muscle and part of the sheath surrounding it. Initial bleeding will take longer to stop if you fail to apply ice. However, recovery is often faster than intramuscular as the blood and fluids can flow away from the site of injury. You are more likely to see bruising come out with this one. These injuries respond very well to physiotherapy and massage.

What are the Symptoms of a Corked Thigh?

  • Pain after being whacked in the leg.
  • You might get swelling or bruising.
  • Restricted movement
  • Reduced power.

What Can the Athlete Do?

Seek medical attention immediately. R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.) Use crutches. Commence physiotherapy as soon as possible.

Corked Thigh Treatment?

Seek professional help quickly if you can. Otherwise, implement a RICE regime until professionally assessed.

After two to three days, check:

  • If the swelling has not gone, then you probably have an intramuscular injury.
  • If the bleeding has spread and caused bruising away from the injury site, you probably have an intermuscular injury.
  • If you are more able to contract the muscle, you probably have an intermuscular injury.
  • Can you feel a deformation of the muscle or a gap? If so, please seek a professional assessment.

The correct diagnosis is critical. If you try to exercise on a complete rupture or a bad intramuscular injury, you can inhibit healing, make things worse or cause permanent disability.

If you apply heat and massage in the early stages, then you could get myositis ossificans (or bone-forming within the muscle), then you are in trouble. Myositis ossificans can result in months or years away from your sport.

Contusions are Graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on the Severity.

Grade 1

What do you feel?

  • Tightness in the thigh.
  • Unable to walk properly.
  • Probably not much swelling.
  • Trying to straighten the knee against resistance probably won’t produce much pain.
  • Lying on front and bending the knee should allow you nearly a full range of motion.

Grade 2

What do you feel?

  • You probably cannot walk normally.
  • You may experience occasional sudden twinges of pain during activity.
  • Possible swelling.
  • Pressing it causes pain.
  • Straightening the knee against resistance causes pain.
  • Unable to fully bend the knee.

Grade 3

What do you feel?

  • You will be unable to walk properly without the aid of crutches.
  • You will be in severe pain.
  • You will have significant swelling appear immediately.
  • A static contraction will be painful and might produce a bulge in the muscle.
  • Expect to be out of competition for 3 to twelve weeks.

Seek the advice of your physiotherapist or sports doctor as soon as possible.

What is the PhysioWorks Difference?

You'll be impressed with the experienced physiotherapists, massage therapists, allied health team and reception staff who represent PhysioWorks.

To ensure that we remain highly qualified, PhysioWorks is committed to participating in continuing education to provide optimal care.

If you've been searching for health practitioners with a serious interest in your rehabilitation or injury prevention program, our staff have either participated or are still participating in competitive sports at a representative level.

We also currently provide physiotherapy and massage services for numerous sports clubs. Our experience helps us understand what you need to do to safely and quickly return to your sporting field, home duties, or employment.

How You'll Benefit from the PhysioWorks Difference?

At PhysioWorks physiotherapy and massage clinics, we strive to offer our clients quickeffective and long-lasting results by providing high-quality treatment.

We aim to get you better quicker in a friendly and caring environment conducive to successful healing.

With many years of clinical experience, our friendly service and quality treatment is a benchmark not only in Brisbane but Australia-wide.

What are Some of the BIG Differences?

Our therapists pride themselves on keeping up to date with the latest research and treatment skills to ensure that they provide you with the most advantageous treatment methods. They are continually updating their knowledge via seminars, conferences, workshops, scientific journals etc.

Not only will you receive a detailed consultation, but we offer long-term solutions, not just quick fixes that, in reality, only last for a short time.

We attempt to treat the cause, not just the symptoms.

PhysioWorks clinics are modern thinking. Not only in their appearance but in the equipment we use and in our therapists' knowledge.

Our staff care about you!  We are always willing to go that 'extra mile' to guarantee that we cater to our client's unique needs.

All in all, we feel that your chances of the correct diagnosis, the most effective treatment and the best outcomes are all the better at PhysioWorks.

Common Youth Leg Injuries

youth sports injuries

Why are Children's Injuries Different to Adults?

Adolescent injuries differ from adult injuries, mainly because the bones are still growing. The growth plates (physis) are cartilaginous (strong connective tissue) areas of the bones from which the bones elongate or enlarge. Repetitive stress or sudden large forces can cause injury to these areas.

Common Adolescent Leg Injuries

In the adolescent leg, common injuries include:

Osgood-Schlatter's Disease

Pain at the bump just below the knee cap (tibia tubercle). Overuse injuries commonly occur here. The tibia tubercle is the anchor point of your mighty quadriceps (thigh) muscles. It is because of excessive participation in running and jumping sports that the tendon pulls bone off and forms a painful lump that will remain forever. This type of injury responds to reduced activity and physiotherapy. More info: Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Disease

Pain at the lower pole of the knee cap (patella). Overstraining causes Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease. It is because of excessive participation in running and jumping sports that the tendon pulls bone off the knee cap. This type of injury responds to reduced activity and physiotherapy. More info: Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome

Anterior Knee Pain

Anterior knee pain or patellofemoral syndrome frequently gets passed off as growing pains. Cause of this pain includes overuse, muscle imbalance, poor flexibility, poor alignment, or more commonly, a combination of these. Anterior knee pain is one of the most challenging adolescent knee injuries to sort out and treat. Accurate diagnosis and treatment with the assistance of a physiotherapist with a particular interest in this problem usually resolves the condition quickly. More info: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee Ligaments

The cartilage between the leg bones have a better blood supply and are more elastic in adolescents than in adults. As adolescents near the end of bone growth, their injuries become more adult-like, hence more meniscal and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are likely. MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries result from a lateral blow to the knee. Pain felt on the inner side (medially) of the knee. MCL injuries respond well to protective bracing and conservative treatment. More info: Knee Ligament Injuries

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries

This traumatic knee injury is significant. Non-contact injuries of the ACL are becoming more common than contact injuries of the ACL. Adolescent females are at high risk. Combination injuries with MCL or menisci are common. Surgical reconstruction is needed if the adolescent wishes to continue participating in "stop-and-start" sports. More info: ACL Injury

Meniscal injuries

Your meniscus is crescent-shaped cartilage between the thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia). Meniscal injuries usually resu