UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

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Orthopedics | Sports Medicine


BACKGROUND: High-grade partial proximal hamstring tears and complete tears with retraction less than 2 cm are a subset of proximal hamstring injuries where, historically, treatment has been nonoperative. It is unknown how nonoperative treatment compares with operative treatment.

HYPOTHESIS: The clinical and functional outcomes of nonoperative and operative treatment of partial/complete proximal hamstring tears were compared. We hypothesize that operative treatment of these tears leads to better clinical and functional results.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: A retrospective review identified patients with a high-grade partial or complete proximal hamstring rupture with retraction less than 2 cm treated either operatively or nonoperatively from 2007 to 2015. All patients had an initial period of nonoperative treatment. Surgery was offered if patients had continued pain and/or limited function refractory to nonoperative treatment with physical therapy. Outcome measures were each patient's strength perception, ability to return to activity, Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) score, Short Form-12 (SF-12) physical and mental component outcome scores, distance traversed by a single-leg hop, and Biodex hamstring strength testing.

RESULTS: A total of 25 patients were enrolled in the study. The 15 patients who were treated nonoperatively sustained injuries at a mean age of 55.73 +/- 14.83 years and were evaluated 35.47 +/- 30.35 months after injury. The 10 patients who elected to have surgery sustained injuries at 50.40 +/- 6.31 years of age (P = .23) and were evaluated 30.11 +/- 19.43 months after surgery. LEFS scores were significantly greater for the operative group compared with the nonoperative group (77/80 vs 64.3/80; P = .01). SF-12 physical component scores for the operative group were also significantly greater (P = .03). Objectively, operative and nonoperative treatment modalities showed no significant difference in terms of single-leg hop distance compared with each patient's noninjured leg (P = .26) and torque deficit at isokinetic speeds of 60 and 180 deg/s (P = .46 and .70, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Patients who undergo operative and nonoperative treatment of high-grade partial and/or complete proximal hamstring tears with < 2 cm retraction demonstrate good clinical and functional outcomes. In our series, 40% of patients treated nonoperatively with physical therapy went on to have surgery. For those patients with persistent pain and/or loss of function despite conservative treatment, surgical repair is a viable treatment option that is met with good results.


hamstring surgical outcomes, hamstring surgical repair, high-grade partial hamstring tears, proximal hamstring tears

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2017.

DOI of Published Version



Orthop J Sports Med. 2017 Feb 23;5(2):2325967117692507. doi: 10.1177/2325967117692507. eCollection 2017 Feb.. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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