A skeletal muscle may herniate in an extremity. This may or may not be symptomatic.


Synonym: pseudotumor, fascial herniation


Features of a muscle hernia:

(1) protrusion of the muscle through a defect in the overlying fascia

(2) soft tissue mass that becomes more prominent with muscle contraction

(3) may be asymptomatic or may be associated with activity-related pain


Muscles affected may include:

(1) tibialis anterior

(2) peroneal

(3) gastrocnemius

(4) rectus femoris

(5) deep posterior compartment muscle

(6) medial hemstring


Risk factors:

(1) surgery-related defect in the overlying muscle

(2) chronic exertional compartment syndrome

(3) military personnel, runners or body builders undergoing intense physical exertion

(4) trauma including contusion at the site

(5) prolonged standing


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