Torn leg muscle

Hey boys,

After a slight pull of the muscle on the inside of my thigh two weeks ago (paintball). More specifically it is the muscle that pulls your leg back towards the body, it starts at the groin and goes about half way down the femur. It was feeling better.......Until I was out on the blue beast Saturday afternoon and tore that same muscle. Yes, I streached before riding.... Anyway, it really did not have anything to do with dirt bike riding, I just dabbed my foot (that was connected to the sore leg) the wrong way and RRRiiip. It felt similar to the sensation of pulling a chicken leg off of the body. I felt the tear, then the pop. Yes, it hurts like hell.

Now to my question. I went to the Dr. this morning to have it checked out. The entire area is black and blue. He said I tore this muscle. He said no working out, running, riding yada yada for 6 weeks. I figured no big deal. Then I asked about long term. This is when my heart dropped. He said I will have reduced flexibility in that leg. I figured since I am not into gymnastics, I will live. Then he said I should keep away from anything that would make me turn quick, or put sudden strain on that muscle. He stated Dirt bike riding along with others I asked him about (racket ball, paintball,skiing, etc.) should be on my list of things to give up. Well....that sucks. I don't think I could give up those things. My question is if anyone else has done this and if yes, how did it turn out. When the vicadin wears off... is there any permanent risks of tearing it again? I have been riding for 25 years in the dirt and really don't know if I can just walk away. (or limp at this point) Any advise would be much appreciated.


If the muscle is really torn then you may want to have a second opinion to see if you need surgery to put it back together. When a friend tore has ACL in college (his whole leg turned black and blue, nasty) he had the option of surgery to reattach it. Unfortunately he didn't take that option and last I saw him he was still limping around. I'm not a doctor, but if it's torn in two or torn off of the bone then I don't see how it would heal back together unless it's somehow attached. I'm skeptical of the "just stay off of it and let it heal" solution for these types of injuries. Maybe a sports doctor or muscular specialist of some kind can help you. I'm sure that there are many pro athletes out there who have torn key muscles and have healed and returned to the game. I would get a second opinion ASAP, the longer you wait the longer it will take to heal. Good luck!


It is hard to give advice without knowing more detail. I will tell you this, I have seen a number of these injuries from mild strains to avulsion of bone from the pelvis from the adductor muscle and they do get better. They are common because most males have restricted motion at the hip and the adductor muscles do not get trained to take a sudden impulse force as compared to the quads. Therefore, sudden abrupt force when the muscles is fully lengthened or contracting and :) something has to give, usually where the tendon joins the muscle. Any hockey players out there will know these injuries well.

Was your doctor a general practitioner or a specialist? No offense, but his or her thinking sounds old school. Getting another opinion from a sports medicine doc can't hurt. Get your knee cleared of injury as it obviously took a lot of torque to transfer the force to your groin. Can you point to your pain with a finger or is it spread out? Did you actually hear a pop? What was the position of your leg (knee) when you pulled the groin? Was the bruising immediate of after some time? Can you palpate a defect in the muscle? A quick x-ray could clear the pelvis if avulsion is suspected although it is rare. Tendon rupture is also possible, did he grade your strain? You should have been asked these questions or given the answers along with lots of others along with physical exam to get a concise diagnosis. If your injury is purely musculotendinous, a more proactive approach to these injuries will likely lead to a better outcome and close to complete recovery!

Yes you need to heal, but letting scar tissue build and restricting range of motion

will only serve to slow the healing process, likely lessen the outcome and could create problem elsewhere. In general: If you have pain at rest or with little movement than rest, ice etc. An anti-inflammatory may help in conjunction with the narcotic. Once you are at the stage when you can initiate some pain free movement at the hip it is time to start rehab, albeit slow at first. A PT referral would not be a bad idea.

To say you could not resume the activities you mentioned is unreasonable at the early stage of injury like this. Are you sure your wife didn't call the doc before you got there :D! Do not sell your bike or your skies for that matter!! The hip musculature has a lot of redundancy built into it and can compensate very well for injuries like this. "I will ride again" should be your mantra.

Good Luck, Keith

[This message has been edited by kmcbride (edited October 01, 2001).]

Originally posted by kmcbride:

Yeah....What he said!!!!


--Life is too short, work hard--

Sponsored by Yamaha of Cucamonga, Larry Roeseler's Stroker Fourstroke Speed Equipment and Answer Racing

Thanks boys. Just to answer a couple of the questions, No, I actually did not hear the POP. I did feel the "tear". The bruising did not show up right away. Most came about a day later. The entire muscle is swollen, I can't distinguish the exact point of the tear. The pain is spread out, not a specific finger point. No xrays were taken, no other tests done, besides a hernia (sp?)check. He did make me move the rest of my leg muscles, feet and tested knee strength.

Thanks again for the hope. I was really getting bummed about not being able to do the things life is all about....



No pop, diffuse pain, delayed swelling are all good signs believe it or not. Sounds like a grade 2 strain. I sure it looks nasty and don't be surprised when the swelling and bruising start migrating down your leg, it is normal. In general with a grade 2, in 2 weeks you should feel significantly better and would be ready for some light rehab. So you are on the 14 day disabled list. If you have not been icing it wouldn't hurt. Get some styrofoam cups fill and freeze them then peel the top half of the cup and massage to swollen area a couple times a day. You might want to take a short walk first if you can tolerate it. It is messy but it will help with swelling and pain. Your wife or girlfriend could assist here :) The key for your rehab will be gradual increase in activity. The adductor muscles are like struts and they can feel much better in a short time (like a pulled hamstring) but if you test them too early a subsequent strain is likely. Keep us posted on your recovery, I would be happy to give you specifics for rehab when you are ready.

Good Luck, Keith

Thanks Keith!

Sounds like you are the MAN when it comes to this stuff. I assume you are Dr.Keith.

Thanks again. I will inform with any improvements.

Originally posted by Tim:

I assume you are Dr.Keith.


Dr. Keith...dunno...but he did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express last night!!!! :)



--Life is too short, work hard--

Sponsored by Yamaha of Cucamonga, Larry Roeseler's Stroker Fourstroke Speed Equipment and Answer Racing

Calling Keith........

Thanks for the advise on the torn leg muscle. You have been right on the money so far! The brusing peaked at about 5-7 days. Pretty ugly. It is still dark purple in about a 10 sqare inch spot, but feeling much better than two weeks ago. You mentioned you might have some ideas on some therapy of some sort? Maybe some streching exercises? The massaging has helped, but I am ready for more. My follow up visit to the Dr. is not until the 29th. I looked for your email, but could not find it. If you would rather, please send to

Thanks again.

I ripped my pec in half whilst fighting in jujitsu,I was put into a nasty arm/shoulder lock.That was about 8 weeks ago,same symtoms as Tim,the bruising is blood from the muscle tear.If you opt to have it stiched back together you will be plastered for 8-10 weeks.Then up to 6 months of re-hab and even then you may have limited range of motion.I oppted to go natural heeling with intensive physiotherapy.I have lifted weights for 13 years and back training allready, at a reduced weight on bench press.I recon on getting 90/95 % of my strength back and you should do the same.The only thing that notices is the odd shape to my pec. Good luck Tim.


If you can move the strained limb away from the midline (across other leg in front)you should start some light stretching, emphasis on light, and some active range of motion (AROM). What works well is to lightly exercise the muscle which will bring heat to the area and assist in healing..heat=blood flow. Do not use a heating pad, although a light ace wrap (4inch) could help get the area ready to work. After you are done with some AROM and stretching get out the ice cup and massage.

So here is what I would do:

1) Light ace wrap around upper thigh

2) Take a walk or stationary bike (if tolerated) for about 10-15mins to get things limbered up.

3) Try some AROM: in standing: cross strained leg in front of other or you can use some theraband to give some resistance (surgical tubing is a cheap substitute) and work further out to the side of your body, sidelying on your strained leg, cross other leg in front with knee bent,keep bottom (strained) leg straight and try to lift towards ceiling. At least 20-30 reps 3 sets in relatively pain free range! Don't do the sidelying one until you after a couple of days to see how you feel.

4) Stretching: 2 classics: 1)sit with soles of feet together (Pseudo Indian Style) and gently lower knees towards floor using muscles not pushing with elbows, just go to comfortable range. Hold for 15 secs repeat 10 times. 2) lie on your back and slide your butt to a wall while putting your legs straight up on the wall (so you form a 90 deg. angle). Slide your legs outwards on the wall like windshield wipers to stretch inner thigh. Once again relatively pain free.

5)Remove acewrap and ice massage with cup.

Do not skip this step. You will "stir" things up by exercising so you want to minimize the inflammatory response by icing afterwards.

I know these seem lame, because they are, but it will speed up the healing process as long as you do not push it. Reassess how you feel everyday and modify accordingly. Start slowly at first and work up to the above numbers, better to undershoot at this point. I would stick with this to you can move through greater than 80-90% of range (compare to other leg) without any pain. You can easily chart your progress with wall stretch (see how far the foot cames down the wall). Once you have progress to near painfree full range you can start raising the stakes and try some more aggressive exercises. Try to resist the urge to hit those inner-thigh machines at the gym shocked.gif, you will likely not tolerate that well at this point.

I try to make this a catch-all so modify as suits your condition. Hope it makes sense. Keep posting your progress and feel free to e-mail with specifics or questions. Your last exercise will be to throw your leg over your bike and roost!

Good Luck, Keith.

Hey Tim,

Glad to hear things are improving! I will post some info for you tonight when I get home, I am slammed at work right now.


BTW e-mail:

[This message has been edited by kmcbride (edited October 16, 2001).]

As always, Thanks Keith.

I will start the streaching tonight.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now