Proximal Hamstring Tears: Endoscopic Hamstring Repair


      Proximal hamstring tears are common among athletes, especially in sports involving eccentric lengthening during forced hip flexion and knee extension, such as hurdles or water skiing. Tears are described by timing (acute [<1 month] or chronic) and severity (partial or complete). Complete tears are easily identified with magnetic resonance imaging; however, partial tears may be subtle and potentially missed. The spectrum of pathology associated with acute injuries ranges from minor strains to complete tears or avulsions. Acute tears commonly present as pain and bruising over the posterior thigh along with weakness with active knee flexion and often a sensation of instability of the lower extremity. Chronic injuries typically present with ischial pain associated with repetitive activities, and the spectrum includes chronic tendinopathies, ischial bursitis, partial tears, and nonoperatively treated complete tears. Nonoperative treatment is recommended in the setting of low-grade partial tears and insertional tendinosis. However, failure of nonoperative treatment of partial tears may benefit from surgical debridement and repair. Further, surgical repair of complete tears with retraction is usually recommended for active patients. Historically, surgical treatment has been limited to open surgical approaches, although endoscopic management of proximal hamstring tears and chronic ischial bursitis is an option. Our endoscopic technique employs the use of two anchors, double loaded with high-strength suture, and may support a faster recovery due to decreased surgical morbidity. It is important to note that some patients may not be candidates for this endoscopic repair as a result of several factors, including prior chronic and retracted tears, as well as those with altered regional tissue planes due to prior surgical repair.
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