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Br J Sports Med. 2005 Aug;39(8):569-72.

Surgical repair of complete proximal hamstring tendon ruptures in water skiers and bull riders: a report of four cases and review of the literature.

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  • 1Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, UK.



Hamstring strains are one of the most common muscle strains in athletes; however, complete rupture of the proximal hamstring origin is rare and results from significant trauma. The objective of this paper is to present our experience of management of complete ruptures where surgical repair resulted in good results in both acute and delayed cases.


Two water skiers and two bull riders sustained complete rupture of the proximal origin of the hamstring muscles. All underwent repair of the hamstring origin and sciatic nerve neurolysis. A post operative hamstring rehabilitation programme was instituted. Regular follow up was performed at 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.


At a minimum final follow up of 12 months all patients had regained functional knee flexion strength with no pain and a near normal range of knee flexion. All four individuals were able to return to their previous line of work and three were able to return to their pre-injury level of sport.


Complete rupture of the hamstring origin is a potentially devastating sports injury that has implications affecting the individual's activities of daily living as well as potential as a sportsperson. Surgical repair restores the distorted anatomy, allows early functional rehabilitation, and avoids the potential debilitating neurological problem of gluteal sciatica.

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