Functional Outcomes and Return to Sports After Acute Repair, Chronic Repair, and Allograft Reconstruction for Proximal Hamstring Ruptures

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;42(6):1377-83. doi: 10.1177/0363546514528788. Epub 2014 Apr 3.


Background: There are limited data regarding outcomes and return to sports after surgery for acute versus chronic proximal hamstring ruptures.

Hypothesis: Surgery for chronic proximal hamstring ruptures leads to improved outcomes and return to sports but at a lower level than with acute repair. Proximal hamstring reconstruction with an Achilles allograft for chronic ruptures is successful when direct repair is not possible.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: Between 2002 and 2012, a total of 72 patients with a traumatic proximal hamstring rupture (51 acute, 21 chronic) underwent either direct tendon repair with suture anchors (n = 58) or Achilles allograft tendon reconstruction (n = 14). Results from the Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE) for activities of daily living (ADL) and sports-related activities, Short Form-12 (SF-12), visual analog scale (VAS), and a patient satisfaction questionnaire were obtained.

Results: The mean time to surgery in the chronic group was 441.4 days versus 17.8 days in the acute group. At a mean follow-up of 45 months, patients with chronic tears had inferior sports activity scores (70.2% vs 80.3%, respectively; P = .026) and a trend for decreased ADL scores (86.5% vs 93.3%, respectively; P = .085) compared with those with acute tears. Patients with chronic tears, however, reported significant improvements postoperatively for both sports activity scores (30.3% to 70.2%; P < .01) and ADL scores (56.1% to 86.5%; P < .01). Greater than 5 to 6 cm of retraction in the chronic group was predictive of the need for allograft reconstruction (P = .015) and resulted in ADL and sports activity scores equal to those of chronic repair (P = .507 and P = .904, respectively). There were no significant differences between groups in SF-12, VAS, or patient satisfaction outcomes (mean, 85.2% satisfaction overall).

Conclusion: Acute repair was superior to chronic surgery with regard to return to sports. Acute and chronic proximal hamstring repair and allograft reconstruction had favorable results for ADL. For low-demand patients or those with medical comorbidities, delayed repair or reconstruction might be considered with an expected 87% return to normal ADL. For patients who desire to return to sports, acute repair is recommended.

Keywords: allograft reconstruction; hamstring; hip injury; tendon repair; tendon rupture; waterskiing.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / surgery
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / rehabilitation
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Return to Sport*
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tendon Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Wound Healing
  • Young Adult