Functional results and outcomes after repair of proximal hamstring avulsions

Am J Sports Med. 2012 Sep;40(9):2092-8. doi: 10.1177/0363546512456012. Epub 2012 Aug 17.


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess postsurgical outcomes in active patients after primary repair of acute and chronic proximal hamstring tears.

Hypothesis: Surgical treatment of both acute and chronic proximal hamstring avulsion injuries would result in improved patient outcomes using validated outcome scores and a hamstring-specific questionnaire, and operative repair of these injuries results in excellent outcomes with a high level of patient satisfaction, pain relief, and return to function.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Fifty-two patients who underwent proximal hamstring repair (26 male and 26 female; average age, 47.7 years) completed the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), a custom LEFS, the Marx Activity Scale, a custom Marx scale, a proximal hamstring score (which combines the sum of the custom LEFS and Marx), and a proximal hamstring questionnaire with subjective questions. Forty patients were characterized as having acute repairs, and 12 patients had chronic repairs. All patients underwent surgical repair with 5 suture anchors on the ischial tuberosity through a transverse incision. The rehabilitation protocol was also similar with the use of a hip orthosis for 6 to 8 weeks, allowing progressive weightbearing and range of motion.

Results: The mean follow-up in our study was 33 months (range, 12-76 months). The mechanism of injury in 28 patients was eccentric hip flexion and knee extension in the ipsilateral knee typically caused by a slip and fall accident. One patient's injury was caused by trauma to the proximal hamstring. In 23 patients, hamstring injuries were sports related. Overall, 51 (98%) were satisfied with their outcome after surgery. The LEFS, Marx, custom LEFS, custom Marx, and proximal hamstring scores for patients with acute injuries were 76.2, 10.0, 71.4, 20, and 91.7, respectively. For those with chronic injury, the scores were 71.5, 10.4, 70.8, 18.7, and 89.8, respectively. The scores were not statistically different for LEFS, Marx, custom LEFS, and proximal hamstring scores (P = .22, P = .6, P = .72, and P = .6, respectively). Patients with acute injury did have a greater custom Marx score (P = .001). Postoperatively, 5 patients (9.6%) had burning pain or numbness in the posterior thigh or foot, and 25 (48%) had at least some discomfort sitting. Thirty-five patients (67%) reported they could participate in strenuous activities at their latest follow-up. All patients estimated their strength recovery at ≥75%.

Conclusion: Results of this study indicate successful outcomes for both acute and chronic repairs, although patients with the acute repairs had higher functional and hamstring scores, and estimated hamstring strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rupture
  • Tendon Injuries / physiopathology
  • Tendon Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult