Hamstring injuries are common for individuals who participate in sports that require sprinting with sudden starts and stops. They most commonly occur in athletes who play football, soccer, baseball, basketball and track.
Hamstring injuries can be very painful, making it difficult to stand or walk in severe cases. Depending on the severity of your injury, it may heal within a few days, or it may take several months to resume athletic activities.
The team at Colorado Advanced Orthopedics offers a wide range of treatments for hamstring injuries. While we always strive to treat your injury conservatively whenever possible, our team has extensive experience performing hamstring surgery and can repair the most severe hamstring tears.
The hamstring consists of a series of muscles that run down the back of the thigh. These muscles are critical to your ability to bend your knee and stretch your leg straight back, and they are used for a variety of actions such as running, climbing, jumping and lunging.
The hamstring muscles extend from the hip down across the knee joint all the way to the lower leg. They are connected to a series of tendons near the regions where these muscles attach to the bones.
Hamstring injuries generally occur in the thick, central region of the muscle, where it connects to the tendons. There are three types of hamstring injuries:
The grades of hamstring injuries equate to their severity. Grade 1 strains are relatively mild and typically heal quickly, while grade 3 complete tears can take months to heal and often require hamstring repair surgery.
The most common cause of a hamstring injury is muscle overload. This can occur when the muscle becomes stretched beyond its limit or becomes overloaded with body weight and the force required for forward motion.
In addition, there are several factors that may increase your risk of a hamstring injury:
The most common symptom is sudden, sharp pain in the back of your thigh. In the event of a partial or full tear, you may also feel a popping or tearing sensation. Other symptoms may include:
Colorado Advanced Orthopedics offers comprehensive treatment for hamstring injuries. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Our hamstring surgeons will evaluate your leg to see if there’s any tenderness or swelling along the back of your thigh. Our surgeons will also move your leg to identify which muscle has been injured.
In order to identify the extent of your injury, the following imaging tests may be performed:
Your specific treatment plan will depend on the location and severity of your hamstring injury. The goal is always to eliminate pain, restore full function, and get you back to participating in your favorite activities.
In most instances, your hamstring injury should be able to heal without the need for surgery. The first phase of nonsurgical treatment involves the RICE protocol:
Our hamstring surgeons may also recommend that you take NSAID drugs, such as ibuprofen, to manage pain and swelling.
Once the initial pain and swelling subsides, you can begin physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion. The early phases of physical therapy will focus on gentle stretching exercises to improve your flexibility and rage of motion. Once you’re farther along in the healing process, strengthening exercises will be added to protect the hamstring against additional strain in the future.
If you suffer an avulsion fracture or a full tear of the muscles and tendons, hamstring surgery may be required to repair the injury. During the procedure, our hamstring surgeons will pull the tendon back into place and remove any scar tissue. The tendon is then reattached using small anchors.
Our team of board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons can repair your hamstring injury to restore a pain free life and get you back to enjoying your favorite athletic activities. We utilize the latest techniques and most advanced technology to deliver outcomes that exceed industry standards. This is the primary reason Colorado Advanced Orthopedics has become the sports medicine clinic of choice on the Western Slope.
In addition, you’ll receive treatment from a caring team committed to providing the amazing patient experience you deserve. We always customize your treatment to address your specific needs every step of the way. When you use our in-house physical therapy clinic for this phase of your treatment, you’ll also benefit from improved communication between your orthopedics and physical therapy teams, ensuring everyone is fully aligned on your treatment plan and goals.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.