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Health Library

Hamstring Tendon Rupture

What Is a Hamstring Tendon Rupture?

A tendon is the cord-like part of the muscle that attaches the muscle to the bone and helps provide stability and mobility to a joint. A hamstring tendon rupture occurs when the tendon has been torn from the ischial bone in the pelvis.


Common Causes

Hamstring tendon ruptures can be caused by a fall or direct blow, a sudden change in acceleration, or explosive activity in sports such as football, soccer, track, and hockey.


Symptoms

Symptoms typically include experiencing a sudden sharp pain in the back of the gluteal area, a loud “popping” noise at the time of injury, swelling, tenderness, and subsequent discoloration of the skin.


Diagnosis

Initially, a medical history and physical examination by a musculoskeletal expert should be completed. Diagnostic imaging like x-rays, MRI, or ultrasound may be ordered. Diagnostic image-guided injections may be recommended as well.


Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to a successful outcome for a hamstring tendon rupture. If diagnosis or treatment is delayed, the integrity of the healing tissue can be compromised due to scarring and decreased blood flow. Surgical repair is used in cases of complete rupture and retraction of the muscle or tendon. Following surgery, physical therapy is required.

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