What is Haematoma?
A Haematoma is bleeding within a muscle. This usually occurs due to a direct force to the muscle which crushes the muscle against the underlying bone, damaging blood vessels resulting in bleeding. This is also known as a contusion. The Quadriceps muscles are four muscles at the front of the thigh which travel from the hip to the knee, with the function of straightening the knee and flexing the hip (moving the thigh forwards). A haematoma in one of these muscles, especially lower down, can cause problems with bending and straightening the knee and difficulty walking. Symptoms include instant pain on impact and a feeling of a 'dead leg'; brusing and swelling and difficulty fully bending the knee.
Initial treatment follows the RICE protocol of rest, ice, compression and elevation. This is designed to reduce pain, swelling and bleeding in the muscles. Ensure you don't apply heat to the injury (or have a hot bath etc!) for at least 3-4 days after injury as this can lead to myositis ossificans. A sports massage therapist can help after 3-4 days as well, to increase muscle flexibility and break down adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle. Gentle stretching of the quad muscles once pain-free will help regain full movement.
Cold therapy products such as ice packs or wrap should be applied immediately and then repeatedly every hour or two for the first few days. A neoprene thigh support will help to provide compression to reduce swelling.