Hamstring Tendon Rupture

The hamstring tendons insert into the posterior region of the knee. Any sort of unstable or forceful movement can result in a complete or partial rupture of the hamstring tendons.

Causes of Hamstring Tendon Rupture

What is Hamstring Tendon Rupture?

The hamstring tendons are developed in the back section of the knee joint. Any type of unsteady or vigorous change can effect in a whole or fractional hamstring tendon rupture. A whole or fractional rupture can take place within the hamstring tendons as they are developed into the back section of the knee joint.

What are Hamstrings?

Three muscles called the hamstrings are to be found at the backside of the leg i.e. behind the thigh. The human thigh and leg flexibility is directly dependent on these three muscles. The three muscles namely biceps femoris, semimembranosus and the semitendinosus.

The hamstring muscle moreover crosses and acts upon the knee joint and the hip joint.

The hamstring tendons structure the borders/ boundaries of the space at the backside of the knee as well as the muscles are participated in hip extension and knee flexion. Hamstrings take part in an important function in actions such as walking, jumping and running. The hamstrings perform to shift your hips toward the back and to bend your knees.

Where is Your Hamstring Located on Your Body?

The hamstrings are there as tendons at the backside of thighs that join the big thigh muscles to the bone. The name hamstring moreover refers to the collection of three muscles which run along the backside of the thigh, from hip to below the knee.

What are Hamstring Tendons?

Biceps femoris, semi membranosus and semi tendinosus are the three muscles to make up the hamstring. These muscles are located in at the back section of the knee through the direction of the tendons. Therefore these tendons are identified as hamstring tendons. It is likely for 3 tendons to torn in an unpredictable change or kicking action.

Hamstring Tendon Rupture

Causes of Hamstring Tendon Rupture

There are many causes of hamstring tendon rupture. The main reason for hamstring tendon rupture is the hamstring muscle getting overloaded. When there is a stretch in the hamstring muscle than its maximum capacity or when there is a challenge of a sudden load.

Another cause for Hamstring tendon ruptures is when the muscle extends as it shrinks or shortens. Even though it sounds opposing, this takes place when you stretch a muscle at the same time as it is loaded.

While an athlete is running at a faster pace, the muscles of the hamstring shrink eccentrically as the rear part of the leg is straightened and the toes of the feet are used for lifting off and go forward. The muscles of the hamstring are not only widened at this point, they are also carrying the weight of the body plus the required force to forward motion during a run. Some of the other causes of hamstring tendon rupture are:

  • Damage to the back part of the knee or a straight knock to the hamstring tendon.
  • Unexpected change in speeding up or unsuitable action in sports like in track and field, football, or hockey.
  • As a consequence of an individual falling down where a person lands uncomfortably or exactly on the knee, this hamstring tendon rupture may happen.
  • Slit of the tendon.
  • Weakness or exhaustion of hamstring muscle where hamstring tendinitis sits or increased strain over hamstring tendon also a cause for hamstring tendon rupture.

Signs and Symptoms of Hamstring Tendon Rupture

The following are the signs and symptoms of hamstring tendon rupture:

  • Sudden onset of acute pain in the back of the knee is the major sign of hamstring tendon rupture.
  • Swelling at the site where the tendon inserts into the knee.
  • Tenderness at the site where the tendon inserts into the knee is observed in the hamstring tendon rupture.
  • Warmth at the site where the tendon inserts into the knee.
  • Pain with resisted knee flexion.
  • Staining, swelling or ecchymosis may present within the back portion of the knee.
  • There is a slit at the tendon where ruptured.
  • It is painful to apply weight on the leg.
  • Lack of ability to straighten up the knee because of the pain.
  • It becomes hard to vigorously bend the knee.

Risk Factors for Hamstring Tendon Rupture

There are many risk factors which can cause hamstring tendon rupture. These include:

  1. Muscle tightness can cause hamstring tendon rupture. Muscles and tendons of the thigh which are not stretched regularly are highly susceptible to tendon rupture. Athletes must keep to a year-round line up of every day stretching exercises.
  2. Previous hamstring tendon rupture can lead to another one. Once you have had a hamstring tendon rupture, you are more expected to have another one; this happens majorly because the athlete assumes that he/ she is completely recovered and starts to intensify their game as if they did not had any rupture. This is the major risk factor and the athlete should only get back to their game once the physical therapist gives a 100 percent clearance.
  3. Muscle unevenness can cause hamstring tendon rupture. When a group of muscles are greatly stronger than its opposite muscle group, the unevenness can guide to a rupture. This frequently takes place in the hamstring muscles. The front muscles of the thigh i.e. quadriceps are generally more powerful. Throughout the high-speed actions, the hamstring might become exhausted sooner than the quadriceps. This exhaustion can direct to a rupture.
  4. Poor condition of muscles can lead to hamstring tendon rupture. If ones muscles are exhausted, they are less competent to deal with the strain of work out and are more probable to be ruptured.
  5. Tired Muscles and tendons can cause hamstring tendon rupture. Weaknesses lessen the energy-soak up abilities of muscle, creating them more vulnerable to rupture.
  6. Selection of activities. Anyone can go through hamstring tendon rupture, other than those particularly at risk are:
  • Athletes who take part in sports like basketball, football, soccer etc…
  • Runners or sprinters
  • Dancers
  • Adult athletes whose work out program is mainly walking.
  • Young athletes who are in the growing stage.

Hamstring tendon rupture takes place more often in young people because muscles and bones do not fully developed and they do not develop at the same speed. During a growth burst, a young person's bones may develop more rapidly than his muscles. The developing bone pulls out the tendons firm. A sudden stretch, jump or impact can rupture the tendon left from its bond to the bone.

Complications of Hamstring Tendon Rupture

The major complication which is commonly seen especially athletes is returning to their exhausting activities prior to the hamstring tendon rupture is entirely healed might make a recurrence of the rupture.

Tests to Diagnose Hamstring Tendon Rupture

Physical Examination and Patient History Test for Hamstring Tendon Rupture

Patients suffering from hamstring tendon rupture usually see a doctor for the reason that of an unexpected ache in the rear of the thigh which takes place when, playing sports, exercising etc.

Throughout the physical investigation, your physician will ask regarding the damage and test your thigh for gentleness or cut. The doctor will palpate, or compress, the rear of the knee to notice if there is ache, swelling, weakness, or a more critical tendon injury.

Imaging Tests for Diagnosing Hamstring Tendon Rupture

Imaging tests like x-rays and MRI's for hamstring tendon rupture may assist your doctor verify your diagnosis. Imaging tests for hamstring tendon rupture may include:

  • X-rays: This can demonstrate your physician whether you encompasses the problem of hamstring tendon rupture. This is once the ruptured tendon has extracted away a tiny piece of bone.
  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging: This investigation can create improved images of the hamstring tendons which are soft tissues. It can assist your physician find out the level of your injury.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: September 21, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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