Treating thigh contusion

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A thigh contusion is caused by a sharp impact on a muscle that results to swelling and bruising of the thigh muscles. The contusion can be intramuscular and intermuscular.

  • Intramuscular contusion happens when the muscles are torn within the sheath that surrounds it and causes minor bleeding caused by the increased pressure inside the muscle
  • Intermuscular contusion occurs when the muscles and sheath that surrounds it becomes torn

Symptoms of thigh contusion

  • Pain can be felt immediately after the injury
  • Limited movement of the muscles
  • Bruising and swelling of the area
    Thigh contusion
    Pain can be felt immediately after the injury.
  • Not capable of moving the leg in full range of motion

Grades of contusion

Grade 1

  • Feeling of tightness in the thigh
  • Limping while walking
  • Swelling
  • Can still perform full range of motion when stretching the muscles

Grade 2

  • Difficulty walking properly
  • Sudden episodes of pain when performing activities
  • Swelling of the area
  • Pain when straightening the leg
  • Pain when pressing the affected area
  • Difficulty when fully bending the knee

Grade 3

  • Incapable of walking with the aid of crutches
  • Severe pain and swelling of the area
  • A bulge or gap can be seen when contracting the muscle

Causes of thigh contusion

Direct trauma or impact to the anterior area of the thigh can cause compression and crushing of the muscles on the thigh bone or femur. This causes bleeding and tissue damage. People playing contact sports such as rugby, football and basketball are susceptible to this condition.


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected thigh. Use crutches when walking.
  • Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 15 minutes every 2 hours on the first 72 hours to minimize any internal bleeding and lessen the swelling and pain.
  • Wear compression bandages for the thigh to protect the damaged area and lessen the swelling.
  • Elevate the affected thigh above the level of the heart to lessen swelling and drain the fluid away from the area.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some massage techniques and stretching and strengthening exercises for fast healing of the condition.
  • Perform gentle thigh stretching exercises to restore mobility and strength of the affected thigh.

More Information

The details posted on this page on thigh contusion is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage muscle injuries including a thigh contusion, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

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