What is a hamstring tear?
The hamstrings consist of three muscles that run down the back of the thigh, and their function is to help you flex your knee and extend your leg. Hamstring tears are seen frequently in athletes, and usually occur when the muscles are forcefully contracted during activities such as running or jumping. Hamstring injuries can range anywhere from strains, partial tears, or complete rupture.
While some minor hamstring injuries eventually heal on their own with conservative measures, some tears may need to be surgically repaired and reattached. If left unrepaired, damaged tendons generally create scar tissue that make the repair much more challenging. The earlier a hamstring tear is diagnosed and repaired, the better the surgical outcome.
How are hamstring injuries repaired?
In the case of a hamstring tear that requires operative intervention, Dr. Potts may recommend a minimally-invasive procedure to repair the tendon back to its origin. During the surgery, Dr. Potts cuts away any scar tissue from the hamstring, pulls the tendon back into place, and then reattaches it to the bone with suture and suture anchors.
If the injury is too severe or the tendon is retracted for repair arthroscopically, Dr. Potts may need to perform the repair with direct visualization through a small 4 cm open incision.
What is recovery like after a hamstring repair?
After surgery, you will use crutches and a brace to protect the repair and keep your hamstring muscle in relaxed position. Dr. Potts will also give you a physical therapy protocol to help restore normal motion and strength.