The proximal hamstring repair protocol is a unique recovery program designed for patients who have undergone surgery to repair their proximal hamstring – a group of muscles found on the back of the thigh.
Both active adolescents and adults can be prone to this injury, especially in high-impact sports such as football, basketball, track, and soccer. However, research shows that some of the most severe proximal hamstring injuries (proximal hamstring avulsion injuries) occur predominately in middle-aged patients with active lifestyles.
While there are many cases where the hamstring can heal independently, surgical repair is necessary for patients with a complete tear. The proximal hamstring repair protocol provides patients with the optimal recovery experience and returns them to regular activity as quickly as possible.
When Is Proximal Hamstring Repair Necessary?
A proximal hamstring injury occurs when the hamstrings tear, stretch, or pull. While many who experience this injury participate in high-demand sports, it is possible to experience it while participating in day-to-day activities.
The good news – most low-grade hamstring injuries do not require surgical repair. Treatment usually consists of rest, physical therapy, and medications to help control pain and inflammation.
However, these injuries can become more severe without early medical intervention, resulting in a complete tear. Studies advocate for an early diagnosis, timely injury treatment, and efficient rehabilitation to minimize muscle damage and promote full recovery.
When is a proximal hamstring repair considered necessary?
Partial Hamstring Tears
In partial hamstring tears, doctors consider the following criteria to decide whether the patient needs a proximal hamstring repair:
- The degree of the tear
- The location of the tear
- The overall health of the patient
The degree of the tear is a critical factor in whether a proximal hamstring repair is necessary. If the proximal hamstring tear is minor, then rest, physical therapy, and medications will likely be enough to treat the injury. However, surgery may be necessary to prevent a complete proximal hamstring avulsion injury if the tear is more severe.
The location of the tear is also essential. Treatment usually includes rest, physical therapy, and medications if the tear is further down the muscle. However, a proximal hamstring repair may be necessary if the tear is at the top of the muscle.
The patient's overall health is equally crucial in deciding whether a repair is necessary. Healthy individuals have a higher likelihood of recovering without surgery. However, patients will be evaluated individually and will receive treatment accordingly.
Proximal Hamstring Avulsion Injuries
These are some of the most severe and challenging to treat because the proximal hamstring has completely torn with the muscle pulling away from the bone.
Proximal hamstring avulsion injuries require surgical intervention to pull the muscle back together and repair the tendon. The surgery method will depend on the severity of the injury and the amount of damage done to the muscle. Once complete, the patient should undergo a proximal hamstring repair rehab protocol.
The Proximal Hamstring Repair Protocol
This is a unique recovery program broken into several steps. The goal is first to allow the muscle to heal and then begin to work on strengthening it. The overall time frame for a proximal hamstring repair protocol varies depending on the patient's overall health and ability to tolerate the process. However, full recovery usually takes up to nine months to ensure the patient can return to regular activities.
The proximal hamstring repair protocol consists of the following steps:
- 0-6 weeks: Protection and healing of the surgical repair involving no weight bearing, little to no hip/knee movement, and using crutches and braces to stabilize the leg.
- 6-9 weeks: Return to pain-free function and addition of some weight-bearing as tolerated by the patient.
- 3-4 months: Return to unrestricted day-to-day activities and some minor gluteal and hamstring strengthening exercises.
- 5-9 months: Return to unrestricted activities based on the patient's ability. More hamstring and gluteal exercises are added to strengthen the muscles.
Depending on your treatment plan, different exercises may be added throughout the process to help you gain confidence and strength.
Proximal Hamstring Repair Protocol with Help from the American Hip Institute
At the American Hip Institute, our team of experts is dedicated to helping you diagnose and treat any hamstring injuries you may have. With the proximal hamstring repair protocol, you can be sure that you are taking steps to ensure that your injury heals properly.
We understand the importance of returning to your activities quickly and safely. Our team is here to guide you back to enjoying life and feeling your best.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.