Proximal hamstring tendinopathy: results of surgical management and histopathologic findings.

Lempainen L1, Sarimo J, Mattila K, Vaittinen S, Orava S.

Author information

Mehiläinen Sports Trauma Research Center, Mehiläinen Hospital and Sports Clinic, Turku, Finland.



Tendon disorders are common problems in sports and are known to be difficult to treat. Only limited information is available concerning treatment of proximal hamstring tendinopathy. To the authors’ knowledge, no histopathologic findings of proximal hamstring tendinosis have been published.


Surgery (semimembranosus tenotomy and exploration of the sciatic nerve) is an effective treatment for proximal hamstring tendinopathy.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


A total of 103 cases of proximal hamstring tendinopathy in athletes (58 men, 32 women; 13 bilateral operations) with surgical treatment were included. The cases were retrospectively analyzed, and a 4-category rating system was used to evaluate the overall result. At the follow-up, the patients were asked about possible symptoms and their return to sports. Biopsy samples from 15 of the operated tendons were taken and analyzed by a pathologist.


The average follow-up was 49 months (range, 12-156 months). The result was evaluated to be excellent in 62 cases, good in 30, fair in 5, and poor in 6. After surgery, 80 of the 90 patients were able to return to the same level of sporting activity as before the onset of the symptoms. This took a mean of 5 months (range, 2-12 months). Typical morphologic findings of tendinosis were found in all biopsy specimens.


Given the good functional outcome and low complication rate, the authors present surgical treatment as a valuable option in proximal hamstring tendinopathy if conservative treatment fails.PMID: 19218559 DOI: 10.1177/0363546508330129

Read article: 22. Lempainen et al AJSM 2009 Hamstring Tendinopathy (pdf)


Lasse Lempainen
ortopedian erikoislääkäri
urheiluortopedian dosentti

Urheilu Mehiläinen
Mehiläinen Neo Turku
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