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Proximal Hamstring Tears

A common issue for athletes is a hamstring muscle injury. People participating in sports that involve running or sprinting, such as track, soccer, and basketball, are especially susceptible. There are three main hamstring muscles, and injuries to those muscles can range from a simple hamstring strain to a complete hamstring tendon rupture.

What causes a Proximal Hamstring Tear?

Proximal hamstring tears generally result from muscle overload; the muscle is stretched or challenged with sudden force. It usually happens because of strenuous exercise. Risk factors include the following muscle issues:

  • Tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Imbalance (one group stronger than the oppositional group)

How do you know you have a Proximal Hamstring Tear?

The most common signs of proximal hamstring tears are:

  • Pain, often sudden and extreme
  • Cramping
  • Weakness
  • Poor leg control

How does OSI fix a Proximal Hamstring Tear?

An OSI orthopedic specialist will listen to your concerns and examine you for signs and symptoms of a proximal hamstring tear. To make sure you can return to your activities without pain and with restore strength and flexibility, your board-certified OSI doctor will first confirm your proximal hamstring tear by doing one or all of the following:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor will examine the thigh area for tenderness, bruising, swelling, weakness, and pain.
  • X-rays: X-rays will determine if a small piece of bone was pulled away by the tendon.
  • MRI: An MRI may be ordered to assess the severity of the injury.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Initial treatments can include:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Splinting

Surgical Treatment

Proximal hamstring tears may require surgery. During the repair, hamstring muscles are pulled back into place and the tendon is reattached to the bone using staples or stitches. If there is a complete tear within the muscle, stitches are used to sew the muscle back together.


Following surgery, a rehabilitation period of at least 6 months is typically recommended, with physical therapy added to help restore function. Physical therapy occurs right at OSI, so it’s not only convenient, but your OSI surgeon can easily check on your progress.  You can also expect to use crutches and wear a brace to help keep the hamstring in a relaxed position as you recover.