Joshua D. Harris, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery located in Houston, TX
Hamstring tears are among the most common type of sports injuries, however, most primary care doctors misdiagnose them as strains. For a reliable diagnosis and expert care, visit Joshua D. Harris, MD, in Houston. Dr. Harris provides diagnosis and second opinions, when needed, along with endoscopic and open surgical repairs to put an end to your pain and get you back to your favorite activities. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Harris today by calling the office or booking online.
Hamstring Tears Q & A
What are the signs of a hamstring tear?
The signs of a hamstring tear often mimic the symptoms of a strain, which is why hamstring tears often go undiagnosed. When Dr. Harris evaluates your injury, he looks for the following symptoms that indicate a hamstring tear:
- Significant functional disability
- Pain or bruising at the hamstring insertion under the buttocks
- Acute, sharp pain in the back of the thigh, possibly accompanied by a popping sound when the injury occurred
- Stiff-legged gait
Hamstring tears are associated with falls and injuries in which the hamstring is contracted, the hip is forced into hyperflexion, and the knee is extended. Hamstring tears may also include avulsion fractures in which a piece of your ischial tuberosity — or sit bone — is broken off when the muscle tears. Sometimes avulsion fractures can be felt under the skin, though further testing is warranted to make a diagnosis.
How is a hamstring tear different from a hamstring strain?
Hamstring injuries are graded from levels 1-3. A hamstring strain is considered a grade 1 injury and is often accompanied by mild-to-moderate pain in the back of the thigh and buttock. These injuries often resolve after a period of rest and possibly physical therapy.
Hamstring tears fall into the second and third categories. A partial tear is a grade 2 injury and involves only a portion of the hamstring muscle. There are three muscles in the hamstring group — the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus — that can be injured. A partial tear may involve one or two of these muscles or parts of all three muscles, but it does not completely tear all three muscles.
A grade 3 injury involves a full tear through all three muscles. Avulsion fractures are in this category as well, since the amount of force needed to tear all three muscles is also likely to cause a fracture.
How is a hamstring tear diagnosed?
In addition to a visual inspection for bruising and palpation of your hamstrings and surrounding muscles and joints, Dr. Harris also uses X-rays, MRI, and diagnostic ultrasound to diagnose hamstring tears. As a diagnosis expert, Dr. Harris completes the most thorough testing necessary in order to determine your diagnosis accurately.
What type of treatment is available for a hamstring tear?
In most cases of hamstring tears, surgical repair is necessary to improve the function of the hamstring muscles and reduce your discomfort. Dr. Harris performs both open and endoscopic surgeries, depending on your unique needs. In most cases, Dr. Harris operates on acute hamstring tears, though chronic tears may also require surgical repair.
To determine if you have a hamstring tear and if you require surgery, schedule a visit with Dr. Joshua D. Harris by calling or booking online now.