Up to 24% of athletes can have hamstring injuries.  Most of them are strains and do not need surgery and do well with conservative treatment.  Complete or partial tears may need intervention. 

Complete hamstring tears are usually associated with a popping sound or tearing sensation, weakness of hip extension and active knee flexion.  The patient might have pins and needles over the sciatic nerve area.

Clinical examination and imaging guides the diagnosis and treatment.  Complete tears can be avulsion injuries, musculotendinous or muscle belly injuries.  Partial tears of more than 2 cm are classified as a complete tear. 


Conservative treatment

Mainly for partial, low grade tear or ischial bursitis

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physiotherapy.


You may return to sport when the symptoms disappear.



Indicated for failed conservative treatment, complete tears and partial tears retracted more than 2 cm.

Rehabilitation is important to strengthen core muscles to hamstrings.  You will wear a knee brace and use crutches for the first 2 to 6 weeks, non-weight bearing, thereafter weight bearing.  Return to sport is at about 9 months depending on the surgical tensioning and your rehabilitation.