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Proximal Hamstring Tears

A common issue for athletes is a hamstring muscle injury. Athletes participating in sports that involve running or sprinting, such as track, soccer, and basketball, are especially susceptible. Many hamstring injuries respond well to nonsurgical treatments, such as a “pulled hamstring.” Injuries to the three hamstring muscles can range from a simple strain to a complete tendon rupture. With a proximal hamstring tear, the hamstring tendon completely tears from the bone.

What causes it?

Proximal hamstring tears generally result from muscle overload, as the muscle is stretched or challenged with a sudden load. Occurrence is typically a product 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 it?

The most common signs of proximal hamstring tears are:

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

How we fix it

The OSI orthopedic team is here to listen, discuss your concerns, and examine you for signs and symptoms of proximal hamstring tear. Our goal is to have you enjoying the activities you love, without pain, by restoring strength and flexibility. While under our expert care, you may undergo 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 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.

Recovery

Following surgery, a rehabilitation period of at least 6 months is typically recommended, with physical therapy added to help restore function. To keep the hamstring in a relaxed position, crutches or a brace may be needed.

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