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What Is a Corked Thigh? Corked Thigh Treatment

What Is a Corked Thigh?

If you’ve played a lot of contact sports before, you’ve probably experienced the answer to “what is a corked thigh?”. Being struck directly in the thigh by an object or knee at high speed can cause a corked thigh. Often it can be associated with bruising and pain on pressure or movement of the lower leg.

At NQ Physio Solutions, we see our fair share of sporting injuries and corked thighs. Let’s take a closer look at “what is a corked thigh?” and how to treat the injury, so that you can get back on the field/court in no time.

What Is A Corked Thigh?

A ‘corked thigh’, or quadriceps contusion as it is scientifically referred to, is the result of a severe impact to the thigh whereby the direct blow compresses the quadriceps muscle into the underlying femur bone, which results in deep rupture and bleeding of the muscle tissue. This is referred to as a ‘hematoma’.

A hematoma can be incredibly painful as the surrounding tissue of the thigh becomes swollen and inflamed. Running and walking may be more difficult due to pain, and restrict your knee and hip range of motion causing sitting or lying to be uncomfortable. The extent of this pain and loss of movement will depend on the amount of force at the time of impact. 

Risk Factors and Causes Associated with Corked Leg or Thigh

When considering “what is a corked thigh?”, there are various risk factors that will affect one’s susceptibility to a corked thigh injury. These include: 

  • Involvement in high contact sport
  • Player position - frequency of heavy contact
  • Higher intensity Sports – involving quick or powerful movement
  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Insufficient rest and rehabilitation time
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Use of protective equipment
  • Injury history
  • Age
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Smoking history

Corks are an unavoidable aspect of the game, however a hematoma can be well managed with treatment and its severity lessened by reducing possible risk factors. 

Types of Corked Thigh

To answer “what is a corked thigh?”, it must be made clear that there are two different types of corked thigh injuries. There first is intermuscular contusion and the second is intramuscular contusion.

An intermuscular contusion refers to tearing of part of the muscle and the sheath that surrounds it. Intermuscular contusions will come with bruising and mild pain but has a relatively quick recovery time. In addition, this type of injury responds very well to physiotherapy and massage.

An intramuscular contusion refers to tearing of the muscle within the sheath that surrounds it. In contrast, intramuscular contusions come with much more severe pain, and overall power and strength will be dramatically affected. Recovery time will be several weeks for a full recovery.

Moreover, when discussing “what is a corked thigh”, note there are ‘three grades’ of corked thighs.

A grade one corked thigh is very mild. In some cases, a player may still be able to continue playing after a quick break. The pain is not very strong, and bruising may not occur.

A grade two corked thigh may prevent a player from continuing in the game. The player will experience pain in the affected area and will most likely have increased pain when walking, causing a limp. In addition, range of motion is diminished. This type of injury will take longer to recover from.

A grade three corked thigh is most severe. This injury will be characterised by rapid swelling and intense bleeding. There will be quite a considerable amount of movement loss, and the affected area will be very tender. This type of injury will take multiple weeks to recover from. 

Corked Thigh Treatment

Now that we have all the information on “what is a corked thigh?”, let’s understand how to treat a corked thigh.

The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury involves: rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral (RICER protocol). Rest and ice will reduce bleeding and damage in the muscle. Compression and elevation will limit swelling and bleeding – elevating the injury will help drain excess fluid from the injury site. Do not try and stretch or massage the muscle too early.

Proceeding this, you should work with your physiotherapist to increase the range of movement and improve recovery time. Stretching should be utilised in this phase of treatment to reduce muscle spasms. Strengthening of the affected muscle should occur two to seven days after injury. 

Some exercises that can be conducted for treatment include:

  • Leg raises
  • Seated hip flexion
  • Quad sets
  • Seated knee extension
  • Partial squats
  • Side step-ups
  • General stretching 

Are You Dealing with A Corked Thigh?  

So, there you have it – the next time you’re asked, “what is a corked thigh?”, you’ll be able to run them through the ins and outs of corked leg issues and corked thigh treatment.

Are you suffering from a corked thigh? Suffer no more. NQ Physio Solutions provide the leading sports injury treatment in Townsville. Our expert team of physiotherapists are proficient in corked thigh treatment and sports injury recovery. 

Whether you’ve suffered from injury or just want to improve strength and mobility, give us a call and book in today on (07) 4729 0055!

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