Rectus abdominis muscle tear diagnosed with sonography and its conservative management

  • Ashley N. RuffEmail author
  • Stacey M. Cornelson
  • Austin S. Panter
  • Norman W. Kettner
Case Report



This is a rare case of a post-traumatic rectus abdominis muscle tear in an adolescent female diagnosed by ultrasonography (US). Conservative management is also described.


A 14-year-old female presented to a chiropractic clinic with extreme pain and tenderness in the right lower quadrant (RLQ) after post-plyometric power kneel box jumps. Movement aggravated her pain and she demonstrated active abdominal guarding with RLQ palpation. Ultrasonography revealed a subacute Grade 2 right rectus abdominis muscle tear, without evidence of hyperemia or a hematoma. Following the diagnosis of a right rectus abdominis muscle tear, she was treated with spinal manipulation and a course of musculoskeletal rehabilitation directed at truncal stabilization.


After treatment, the patient was able to return to play 5 week post-injury without any pain or discomfort. A follow-up US at 3 months provided evidence of muscle healing without complications.


This case demonstrates the diagnosis of a rare rectus abdominis muscle tear managed conservatively. To our knowledge, less than a dozen cases are reported using US in the evaluation and diagnosis of a rectus abdominis tear.


Rectus abdominis tear Ultrasonography Spinal manipulation Muscle tear Rehabilitation 



No funding was received.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyLogan UniversityChesterfieldUSA
  2. 2.Winchester Sport and SpineTroyUSA

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