Bull's eye sign of rectus femoris injury

Case contributed by Dr Prashant Gupta


Footballer complains of snapping and pain in left thigh whilst playing

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Note bull's eye sign of ruptured deep tendon of rectus femoris. This is best seen on axial sections.

Coronal plane shows the deep tendon leading into the region of the tear, where there is a wavy contour of the deep tendon with surrounding edema.

Case Discussion

The rectus femoris has two separate origins, the direct head originates from the anteroinferior iliac spine and indirect head from the superior acetabular ridge. Both these heads unite to form the deep musculotendinous junction.

The "bull's eye sign" was a term coined by Hughes et al to represent increased signal around the deep musculotendinous junction, which is thought to represent an intramuscular degloving injury of the muscle fibers from the indirect head, while the peripheral direct head fibers remain intact. 

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Case information

rID: 16621
Published: 3rd Feb 2012
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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