Chronic tears of the reflected head of the rectus femoris: results of operative treatment.
BACKGROUND: While the majority of quadriceps muscle strains can be managed nonoperatively, rare cases remain symptomatic despite nonoperative treatment. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to report on results of surgical treatment of a limited number of cases of persistently symptomatic tears of the reflected head of the rectus femoris. STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. METHODS: The records of 5 patients with chronic tears of the rectus femoris treated with excision of the reflected head were reviewed. A telephone interview regarding return to sport and current limitations was completed if patients were available for further follow-up. RESULTS: A review of 5 cases of surgical treatment of chronic tears of the reflected head of the rectus was completed. Patients included 1 woman and 4 men with an average age of 21 years (range, 18-24 years). Three patients played football (2 kickers) and 2 played soccer at a collegiate level. All 5 reported a significant decrease in pain during sport and activities of daily living and were able to return to collegiate athletics. Two patients had a late recurrence of pain with kicking that resolved with nonoperative treatment, 1 had residual thigh pain with intense play, 1 had no pain but noted decreased kicking accuracy, and 1 patient returned to play without symptoms. CONCLUSION: Strain injuries to the reflected head of the rectus femoris can benefit from delayed excision in rare cases that fail nonoperative management. High-level kicking athletes are likely to experience significant reduction in pain, but may have some residual or recurrent symptoms that limit competitive level of play postoperatively.
Wittstein, J; Klein, S; Garrett, WE
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