Friday, February 16, 2018

Recovering from hamstring tendon attachment rupture

Some more information on my hamstring injury.

When I came off the foil board I was lofted. While in the air I felt a "pop" and immediate pain. It felt like I had dislocated my left hip joint. 

I was able to body drag with the board back to the beach then hobble back to pack up my gear and walk back to my car.

My left buttock was very sore underneath - I put ice on it and took some anti-inflammatories.

I saw a sports medicine doctor (GP) - he said I had most likely injured the ligament attachments of my leaf hamstring tendons - circled in red in the diagram below.

He said that the injury would most likely heal with surgery and suggested I get an ultrasound.

The ultrasound was inconclusive in the zone where the injury was.

A friend recommended I get an MRI so I did.  Showing the results and report to the doctor, he said the damage was worse than he thought.  The attachment of the "conjoined tendon" (semitendinosus & semimembranosus hamstring muscles) was completely detached and retraced 15mm.

The attachment of the other tendon (right next to it) was stressed but not fully ruptured.  He suggest I get specialist advice on whether surgery was required.

I made appointments with two surgeons who specialise in hamstring injuries.  I always get two opinions on something this serious.  If they don't agree I would  get a third.

However, both agreed that while surgery was possible, it would be best to rest and wait it to heal then get physio treatment.  This was a good option for me as 3 months recovery and 6 months rehab for the surgery option was not attractive.

The physio gave me a succession of progressive exercises to gradually strengthen the left hamstring.  It has improved to the point where I can now do some mountain biking (not to vigorous) and AT LAST some more kitesurfing (avoiding major crashes - no foil board!), and I can recommence yoga.

My sanity will be restored.

This was 51 days (1 month, 20 days) after the injury.

In hindsight, I think had a "grade 1" hamstring injury before the crash - the muscle and tendon was feeling quite tight.  This is apparently commonly overlooked.

The subsequent "grade 2.5" injury (with 3.0 being full detachment of both tendons) may have been partly due to the previous injury.

Some tips:

  • Do yoga to keep your flexibility and stretch out muscles and tendons
  • If you get a sore hamstring see a physio or a sports medicine doctor to get it checked - prevention is better than cure.
  • Ice the injury and take anti inflammatories
  • If you have an injured hamstring get an MRI done so that all soft tissue damage is visible
  • Don't rush the recovery - if you tear both hamstring tendons right off then surgery will be the only option.

Now for some more kitesurfing, and mountain biking . . . 

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