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Calling all MDs: recurring hamstring injury

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Sharkfan

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I have a problem and would like advice from you all, the people whom I feel are most qualified to give it!

My boyfriend is a track athlete and injured his hamstring in December of 2001 while practicing long jumping. Although it hurt him to walk for a week or two, his coaches made him start training again about a month and a half or two months later. Ever since then, he has been bothered by it on an on-again-off-again basis. His hamstring is either frequently sore or he actually "re-injures" it. (This is what he tells me; I will enter med school this fall so unfortunately I don't know enough about this sort of thing yet.) I'd say he reinjures himself about every four to seven months for a total of three or four recurrences, but he claims that the reinjuries are never as bad as the original one was. The last time, last week, he actually had bruises on the back of his leg and it was light reddish and slightly swollen.

I feel really bad for him because the athletic department at our school just sends him to massage therapists and chinese herbal medicine specialists. I really don't think he is getting the treatment he needs to fix this problem, as it seems (my impression here) to have never fully healed to begin with. When I ask him about it, he says that the only thing anyone can do in this case is to rest it. But he also says that his massage therapists say that they can feel a lot of scar tissue.

So what should be done to fix this once and for all? Who should he see? What tests does he need? This whole situation really stinks because he has the talent and ability to be very successful in his sport if his hamstring would get better!!

Thanks in advance for having the time and patience to read through this. I plan to print up your replies and show it to him so he can see that it isn't just me who thinks something else should be done!!
 

villiarp

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Sounds like he needs to do rehab on it. The Athletic Trainers at your school should be able to help him...if the school employs ATC's. If his hamstring is bruising then he is tearing muscle fibers. A stretching and strengthening program should be put in place after the past injury heals. The danger of him "running through the pain" is the development of myositis ossificans. A hemotoma can develop in the muscle belly. If he does not allow the body to absorb that hematoma it will calcify. It sounds as if this has already happened if it has been years since the initial injury. Palpate the hamstring muscles and see if you feel a hard area...xrays can also make this determination. Athletic Trainers are very capable of handling this problem. Have him see the ATC at the school...if none exist see a physician.
 
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