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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Surgery - Trauma -

Many can return to sport after hamstring surgery

Surgery • • TraumaFeb 29, 08

Surgical repair of a ruptured hamstring offers the most promise for individuals who want to return to high or full activity levels, researchers report.

Individuals who have suffered a hamstring detachment may “feel a pop in the buttock area that is followed by bruising over the posterior thigh and knee,” Dr. Christopher M. Larson told Reuters Health.

Rehabilitation alone may result in persistent weakness, poor leg control, and difficulty returning to higher levels of activity. By contrast, surgery results in improved strength and a high return to sports, said Larson, of the Minnesota Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship, in Eden Prairie.

In the American Journal of Sports Medicine, he and colleagues describe outcomes for 12 men and 14 women ranging from 16 to 58 years old who had surgery between 2002 and 2005 to repair hamstring ruptures.

They repaired the 21 acute ruptures within 4 weeks of injury. In the 5 chronic injuries, reconstruction occurred from 4 to 116 months after injury, and involved a new technique that used an Achilles tendon from a non-identical human donor to complete the hamstring reconstruction.

Five of the 26 patients were high-level recreational athletes, 2 were elite athletes, and the remaining participated at least weekly in jogging, cycling, weight training, aerobics, yoga, or rollerblading. Sixty-five percent of the hamstring ruptures occurred while water skiing.

At about 20 months post surgery, 96 percent of the patients said they would have the surgery again and reported good leg control. Eighty percent reported no pain.

In the acute group, 45 percent reported a full recovery, and 75 percent were able to return to sporting activities. The 5 patients unable to resume sports cited the hamstring injury as the cause. One patient was lost to follow up.

In the chronic group, 60 percent reported full recovery with no restricted activity, while the others resumed activities with limitations.

Superficial wound infections occurred in 5 patients and 3 patients each suffered re-rupture due to a fall, a deep infection requiring operative irrigation, and chronic pain and muscle spasm.

The investigators conclude that surgery for acute or chronic hamstring rupture results in a fairly reliable return to function for recreationally active adults.

SOURCE: American Journal of Sports Medicine, January 2008

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