Rectus femoris tendinopathy
Rectus femoris tendinitis / inflammation of the tendon of the rectus femoris (hip flexor) muscle

Rectus femoris tendinopathy affects the tendon of an important thigh muscle. This causes pain along the front of the hip and thigh.

leg quadriceps muscle rectus femoris vastus lateralis medialis

The rectus femoris is one of the four muscles that form the quadriceps muscle group. The rectus femoris runs from the hip to the knee. Its functions are to extend the knee and flex the hip.

Description of condition

The tendon along the upper part of the rectus femoris is inflamed. This produces pain along the front of the hip. In more severe cases the tendon can tear partially or completely. An affected tendon causes pain whenever the muscle is contracted or stretched.

Cause and history

The most common cause is overloading. This can develop gradually or acutely as a result of a rapid, brief physical effort.

Signs & symptoms

  • Pain along the front of the hip and/or thigh.
  • Pressing on the painful area makes the symptoms worse.
  • Pain when elevating and/or extending the knee against resistance.
  • Pain when stretching the quadriceps muscle.
  • The front of the hip may feel stiff.
  • The symptoms can occur during various activities that involve this muscle. Examples include running or playing football.




You can check your symptoms using the online physiotherapy check or make an appointment with a physiotherapy practice in your locality.


leg quadriceps muscle rectus femoris vastus lateralis medialis

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