Thigh strains range from mild to severe. Mild strains are often referred to as a pulled muscle and involve overstretching the muscle fibers. In moderate strains, the muscle is torn partially. Severe strains are usually a complete tear of the muscle or tendon. In some severe cases, the tendon can tear away from the bone or even break off a piece of the bone.
If a thigh or muscle strain occurs, a popping or snapping sensation is usually experienced, followed by sudden pain that can be severe. Swelling, tenderness, and bruising may also be found near the thigh.
In order to diagnose thigh strain, physicians will ask about symptoms and conduct a physical exam, including bending and straightening the knee and hip. X-rays and MRIs may also be used to identify fractures and evaluate muscles in the leg.
Most thigh and muscle strain can be treated with compression, ice, and rest. Anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy may also be used to improve strength and mobility. However, severe strains that involve complete tears often require surgery.