Operative Treatment of Proximal Rectus Femoris Injuries in Professional Soccer Players: A Series of 19 Cases.

Lempainen L1, Kosola J1, Pruna R2, Puigdellivol J2, Ranne J1, Orava S1.

Author information

1 Sports Trauma Research Unit, Mehiläinen NEO Sports Hospital, Turku, Finland. 2 Futbol Club Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



Proximal rectus femoris (PRF) tears are relatively rare injuries among top-level athletes. PRF injuries can be avulsions of both tendon heads (direct and reflected heads) or of a single head, and some have a tendency to progress to recurrent injuries.


To describe a series of operatively treated PRF ruptures in professional soccer players.

Study Design:

Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


Nineteen cases of PRF injuries (18 patients, 1 bilateral) in professional soccer players who were treated surgically were retrospectively reviewed. Perioperative findings with return-to-play data were recorded.


Of the PRF injuries, 10 total avulsions (both heads) and 9 single-head tears were seen on magnetic resonance imaging and were later confirmed during surgery. All 18 patients returned to their preinjury level of play (mean follow-up, 2.8 years [range, 1-11 years]).


The repair of PRF tears in professional soccer players yielded good results and allowed all patients to return to their preinjury level of play.


proximal rectus femoris injury; soccer; sports injury; surgical treatmentPMID: 30288390 PMCID: PMC6168727 DOI: 10.1177/2325967118798827

Read article: Lempainen et al OJSM 2018 Proximal Rectus Femoris (pdf)


Lasse Lempainen
orthopaedic surgeon
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Lasse Lempainen

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