Hamstring Tear

Hamstring Tear Description
Hamstring Tear is a common injury for the elite athlete as well as the weekend warrior.  The hamstring is a group of three muscles in the back of the thigh that are commonly injured.  Injuries to the hamstrings often occur with running and can be simple strains or pulls or complete avulsions of the muscle origin.

Hamstring Tear Anatomy
The hamstrings  and made up of three large muscles in the back of the thigh.  The biceps muscle (long and short heads), the Semitendinosus muscle and the Semimembranosus muscle.  All of the hamstring muscles, except the short head of the biceps,  originate from ischial tuberosity. The separate muscles become distinguishable about 5-10cm from  the ischial tuberosity. 

Hamstring Tear Symptoms
Hamstring Tear causes pain and swelling in the back of the thigh.  Hamstring injuries may occur with an audible pop followed by pain in the back of the thigh.  Hamstring tears are more common during strenuous athletic activity or when fatigued.

Hamstring Tear Treatment 
Hamstring Tears are diagnosed based on a detailed history, physical exam and xrays performed by an orthopaedic surgeon, or sports medicine specialist.

Hamstring strains are initially treated with the standard RICE program.  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  Compression is best achieved with a Thigh Sleeve.  After the initial period of rest a gentle hamstring stretching program and  a gradual return to activities and sports is taken.  It is very important that hamstring injuries are evaluated by an orthopaedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist to ensure that a proximal avulsion of the hamsting origin has not occured.

Acute Complete promimal hamstring avulsion from its ischial origin can lead to significant long-term disability and should be repaired acutely with surgery.  Proximal hamsting avulsion are associated with water skiing injuries. 

Athletes returning to sports after Hamstring Tear should begin with a graduated exercise program. First they should be pain free with daily activities with full range of motion and at least 85% strength in the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg. Exercise begins with light jogging in a straight line, followed by sprinting in a straight line. When these have been done without pain the athlete can proceed to doing agility type drills such as 45º cuts, 90º cuts and jumping. Agility drills should begin at half-speed and proceed to full-speed provided the athlete remains pain free.

Hamstring Tear Prevention
Prevention of Hamstring Tear is focused on hamsting stretching and maintaining physical fitness.  Avoiding high level competition when fatigued is beneficial.

Hamstring Tear Risk Factors
Hamstring Tear is associated the following sports: Baseball; Basketball; Boxing; Cycling; Dance; Diving; Equestrian Sports; Figure Skating; Football; Golf; Gymnastics; Hockey; RowingRugby; Running; Skiing; Snowboarding; Soccer; Swimming; Tennis; VolleyballWeight Lifting; Wrestling.

Hamstring Tear Rehab and Exercise Program
Hamstring Tear

Hamstring Tear Outcomes
Hamstring Tears generally recover fully.  Proximal hamstring avulsions that are not surgically repair can lead to knee flexion weakness, mild hip extension weakness, pain with sitting, and hamstring syndrome.

Similar injuries that can be confused with Hamstring Tear include:

Iliotibal band syndrome
Quadriceps Contusion

Synonyms: 
Hamstring Pull, hamstring tear, hamstring strain, ischial tuberosity fracture, ischial tuberosity avulsion fracture,

Disclaimer
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