Resisted Hip Flexion Test (Rectus femoris strain)

Resisted hip flexion test for rectus femoris tendon strain and avulsion strain.


What is a Rectus femoris tendon strain?

A Rectus femoris tendon strain is a tear of the tendon of rectus femoris, one of the quadriceps muscles. It often occurs at the muscle origin resulting in pain at the front of the hip. Sometimes the tendon tears at its attachment, pulling a small piece of bone with it (an avulsion strain).

Rectus femoris tendon strain


The rectus femoris muscle is the large quadriceps muscle that runs down the centre of the front of the thigh. It is a biaxial muscle meaning it crosses two joints; the hip and knee joints. It is used to straighten the knee (knee extension) or lift the knee up (hip flexion).

How to perform the resisted hip flexion test?

First, the patient lies on their back with the legs straight. Then, they lift their knee or leg upwards while the examiner presses down on the thigh, just above the knee, to apply resistance. The patient holds against this resistance.

Resisted hip flexion test

What is a positive resisted hip flexion test?

Experiencing pain at the front of the hip during this movement, or even when lifting the leg, indicates a potential rectus femoris strain.


The severity of your symptoms depends on whether the rupture is partial or complete. Always combine these findings with other clinical information and diagnostic tests.

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