Orthopedic Center with Orthopedist and Arthroplasty Services


Thigh Muscle Distension

Injury in the groin area (muscle strain in the thigh) is responsible for approximately 5% of athletic injuries, especially in sports that involve kicking. These injuries are often serious, requiring long recovery periods.

For a deeper understanding of the rupture of the thigh adductor, read about its characteristics, symptoms, and treatment below.


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Understanding the adhesive musculature of the thigh

Located in the inner thigh, the adductor muscles run from the groin (inguinal region) to the knee. The main function of these muscles is the adduction movement, allowing the lower limbs to be pulled toward the midline (that is, the action of “closing the legs”).

Many of these muscles are utilized during sports, such as running, football, basketball, volleyball, and other sports that require rapid changes in direction. The adductor muscles of the thigh come into action to perform the movement of pulling the oscillating lower limb to the center. Thus, helping you maintain balance.

Injuries in this region

Most of the time, the muscular distension in the thigh happens at the proximal musculotendinous junction. However, injuries may occur in the proximal and distal part of the adductor thigh muscle as well. Disruptions in the muscles at the origin are uncommon, accounting for only a few cases in the medical literature.

Most injury cases are associated with sports and high-impact physical activities that involve kicking. In these cases, the injured areas are treated surgically.

Abruptly and intensely stretching the groin muscles can cause them to stretch—this is often the case in sports-related injuries. Another cause of such injuries is abrupt contractions of the musculature, coupled with a rotation of the body and carrying weights.

The extent of the muscle strain in the thigh is an indication of its severity. These injuries can be divided into 3 degrees, as is demonstrated below.

  • Grade 1 Injury: In this category, the injuries are small and cover up to about 10% of the muscle fibers in the region.
  • Grade 2 Injury: This category includes injuries that cover up to about 90% of the muscle fibers in question.
  • Grade 3 Injury: In this situation, the injuries cover more than 90% of the muscle fibers involved. They may even reach complete rupture, often occurring in the transition from the muscle to the tendon, or in the tendon itself.

The tendon of the adductor muscles may even sustain minor repetitive damage due to its overuse. This causes inflammation and degeneration, damaging the quality of the fibrous tissue of the tendon. Thus, tendinopathy of the thigh adductors is caused as a result.


Symptoms of muscle distension in the thigh

Signs of Grade 1 ruptures: In these ruptures, you may experience discomfort in the inner thigh or groin region. The sensation may arise as soon as you pause or halt the exercise or physical activity you’re doing.

It’s entirely possible that the tense feeling in the groin muscles lasts for anywhere between 2 to 5 days. This area may be sensitive to palpation as a result. It’s quite common for symptoms to appear during sudden changes in direction while playing sports.

Symptoms for Grade 2 ruptures: In ruptures of this grade, you may experience sudden pain in the groin area or in the adductor muscles while performing physical exercises or playing sports. You may feel tension in the groin muscles the next day too. In grade 2 ruptures, you may form bruises or swelling in the affected region. Additionally, the muscle will feel sore along its length, especially during running or walking.

For Grade 3 ruptures: In these situations, you’ll experience sharp pain while taking part in any physical exercises or sports. The sharp pain will arise especially when you quickly change directions while running.

In this type of break or sprain, you won’t be able to contract the groin muscles. In fact, there will be considerable bruising and swelling inside the thigh within the first 24 hours. When there is a complete rupture in grade 3 muscle distension, you may even visibly see a mass close to the groin.


Diagnosis and treatment

Accurately diagnosing muscular distension in the thigh requires a holistic approach involving the patient’s medical history, physical exams, and other diagnostic tests including ultrasounds and MIRs. Using this information, we’ll be able to verify whether you’re experiencing muscular distension in the thigh.

If you have a Grade 3 rupture or muscular distension in the thigh, you may require reconstructive surgery.

For more information on diagnoses and which treatment modality is better for you, please schedule an appointment with us.


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Unidade Higienópolis
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