Imagine hitting a piece of raw steak with a hammer. You get mashed meat. That's what a corky is... a contused muscle. The thigh muscles in football take a fair bit of punishment and corkies are a common occurrence. A badly managed corked thigh can take an age to rehabilitate so it is worth knowing what to do right from the moment of injury. A lot of what is done to players with corkies in football sheds is just plain awful. Old myths and bad advice abound.


How Severe Is It?

The severity of a quads contusion depends on 1. how much muscle is damaged (you can't do much about that) 2. How much bleeding results from the injury ... you can do heaps about this. 3. Where the bleeding occurs. Deep bleeding can result in the slow development of calcium deposits in the muscle months later. This can ruin a footballer's career. A simple way to judge the severity of the corky is ask the player to bend his knee.     30 degrees = severe     90 degrees = moderate    120 degrees = mild


First Aid

The first 10 minutes is crucial. You must stop bleeding at all costs. 1. Bench the player 2. Bend the knee to 120 degrees and keep [strap it] in this position for as long as possible. [This stretches out the muscle and constricts the bleeding area .. dramatically preventing bleeding. Idealy one would strap the leg into this position for 24 hours. Corkies treated like this have a very short recovery time .. days instead of weeks or months] 3. Apply ice in the usual sequence.



What Not To Do

1. Do not apply heat 2. Do not massage The first 3 Days Serious swelling from bleeding can develop over the first few days. So keep the player quiet and resting and dont apply heat or massage. Crutches are a good idea.


Preventative Issues after a corked thigh

Players who have sustained a recent thigh haematoma should consider use of thigh protectors on return to competition. Players who have experienced complications from past thigh haematomas (e.g. myositis ossificans) or who have sustained multiple thigh haematomas over a short period should consider regular use of thigh protectors for Australian football.