Hamstring Avulsion - Unimagineable agony and grief!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hamstring Avulsion - Unimagineable agony and grief!

    Not the typical injury that comes to mind for mountain biking but I learned how it can happen when landing on your feet vs. going to the ground during a crash. My bike washed going into a steep, loose left turn. I somehow managed to stay on my feet and was actually sliding forward while holding onto my bike for balance. My left leg was bent at the knee in front of me but as I was sliding forward, my right leg just extedned straight out behind me. Then as my bike went to the ground my left knee dropped to the ground with it, meaning that all of my weight and momentum forced my extended right leg towards the ground as well. Before I could do anything, I felt a ripping sensation on the inside of my leg and then suddenly felt a pop right under my right buttocks. I felt lightheaded and nauseous, and worried that I might lose consciousness.

    Turns out the ripping sensation was a high-grade tear of my semimembranosus muscle at the proximal myotendinous junction. That resulted in a large volume intramuscular hematoma. The worst part though was that the pop I felt was my conjoined hamstring tendon getting ripped off of my sit bone. The tendon only retracted 6cm, but still required surgical repair for optimal recovery. I'm now 6 weeks post-injury, 5 weeks post surgery, and it's been the most miserable stretch of my life. I'm still on crutches with no weightbearing and can't sit comfortably at all.

    Should be starting rehab in about 1 week. I'm trying to be upbeat, but it will likely be 4-5 more months minimal before I can be riding on trails again. I consider this to be a fluke accident, but at 60yrs old, I'm really starting to question if I should adopt a more conservative riding style to avoid further injuries. Also questioning whether my recovered right leg will ever be 100%. Would love to hear from others who've suffered this same injury.
    Last edited by throet; 08-18-2019 at 04:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have no experience with this injury but my 62 year old neighbor torn her hamstring tendon which required surgery too. Your injuries sound very similar albeit they both happened quite differently. She was on crutches non weight-bearing for a long time (3 months?). She took her rehab seriously and had a total recovery. It can be done. You can do it. It is going to suck, but if you take the PT seriously you might actually come out ahead of where you were pre-injury. Good luck.

    At 6 months out from ACL reconstruction/meniscus repair, I can commiserate with your concerns. I am ahead of schedule for my recovery. It does take time and lots of work. I am 55 years old. My take away from the injury is that I only have so many seasons of higher level athleticism and loosing time is terrible. I am not willing to let go of sports I have done my whole life and enjoy at a rather rarified level. That said, I will certainly be more choosy in picking my days and times to drop the hammer in the future.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear this. Now I'm not trying to be alarmist but I did the same, yes it was painful and I'm going to tell anyone what I wish someone told me before it was too late to do anything about it.

    After seeing doctors and hospitals I was told it would heal on its own and there would be no issues with it.
    3 weeks became 3 months and it was better but not markedly so.
    3 months became 6 months. I'd see doctors again and they claimed again it would be slow but would heal.

    I decided to talk to an orthopaedic surgeon I trusted who told me that if I'd have seen him inside 3 weeks he could have reattached it with full recovery. It'd be 12 months off the bike and difficult rehab but it would be back to full strength.

    After the time I'd left it would be VERY compromised to repair.
    It'd give me a limp, pull / tear often and likely impingement of the sciatic nerve would have me put a contract on his life.

    So, 3 years later I can ride, run, jump and walk as well as kick box with no difficulty but it IS weaker, fatigues more quickly which means I get more tired and the only benefit is my flexibility. I can touch my toes very easily on that side now.
    Note that if I don't train it looks a little more slender than my other leg.

    So, it didn't heal but I have trained around it but I'd have probably taken the surgery so I could get back to that version of me.

    So please consider this in the overall scheme of things. I was 47 when this happened and very active.
    See a surgeon,
    Act quickly.

    12 months seems like a very long time to be off the bike and working back to fitness I know.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    I have no experience with this injury but my 62 year old neighbor torn her hamstring tendon which required surgery too. Your injuries sound very similar albeit they both happened quite differently. She was on crutches non weight-bearing for a long time (3 months?). She took her rehab seriously and had a total recovery. It can be done. You can do it. It is going to suck, but if you take the PT seriously you might actually come out ahead of where you were pre-injury. Good luck.

    At 6 months out from ACL reconstruction/meniscus repair, I can commiserate with your concerns. I am ahead of schedule for my recovery. It does take time and lots of work. I am 55 years old. My take away from the injury is that I only have so many seasons of higher level athleticism and loosing time is terrible. I am not willing to let go of sports I have done my whole life and enjoy at a rather rarified level. That said, I will certainly be more choosy in picking my days and times to drop the hammer in the future.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I have a similar perspective regarding lost time, although I'm also getting to the point where I may just skip riding in the summer here in Central Texas, adopting a seasonal approach from Sep thru May. One benefit of this recovery period is that I had a nagging shoulder injury and tendonitis in both elbows that have all quieted down significantly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonJones View Post
    Sorry to hear this. Now I'm not trying to be alarmist but I did the same, yes it was painful and I'm going to tell anyone what I wish someone told me before it was too late to do anything about it.

    After seeing doctors and hospitals I was told it would heal on its own and there would be no issues with it.
    3 weeks became 3 months and it was better but not markedly so.
    3 months became 6 months. I'd see doctors again and they claimed again it would be slow but would heal.

    I decided to talk to an orthopaedic surgeon I trusted who told me that if I'd have seen him inside 3 weeks he could have reattached it with full recovery. It'd be 12 months off the bike and difficult rehab but it would be back to full strength.

    After the time I'd left it would be VERY compromised to repair.
    It'd give me a limp, pull / tear often and likely impingement of the sciatic nerve would have me put a contract on his life.

    So, 3 years later I can ride, run, jump and walk as well as kick box with no difficulty but it IS weaker, fatigues more quickly which means I get more tired and the only benefit is my flexibility. I can touch my toes very easily on that side now.
    Note that if I don't train it looks a little more slender than my other leg.

    So, it didn't heal but I have trained around it but I'd have probably taken the surgery so I could get back to that version of me.

    So please consider this in the overall scheme of things. I was 47 when this happened and very active.
    See a surgeon,
    Act quickly.

    12 months seems like a very long time to be off the bike and working back to fitness I know.
    Oh wow! Curious how your injury occurred? I have a friend who did this same thing water skiing, but he also incurred damage to his sciatic nerve. He was told there was nothing that could be done. He's suffered from chronic issues ever since. I called him right after my injury and he urged me to go to the ER and get referred to a surgeon. I actually ended up seeing two surgeons and both highly recommended the surgery. I ended up having my procedure done within 10 days of the accident.

    Really appreciate your candor and encouragement. I'm definitely not going to try rushing anything with this one.

  6. #6
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    Sorry for the delay, I missed the notification.
    Mind was from an OTB stack, slow speed but very steep and I couldn't get my foot unclipped. One came out, the other didn't and both feet went as far out in front of me as possible.

    I immediately felt it tear clean off the bone, got a concussion and fractured rib too.

    Not one of my finer moments on the bike unfortunately.

    Good luck with your recovery!

  7. #7
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    I'm now approaching 4 months post-surgery and have been rehabbing for over 2 months. Initially it seemed like coming back would be impossible, but slowly with each week progress was being made. Now I'm back riding my bike on pavement and beginner trails with no elevation change. It's obvious that my right hamstring is nowhere near fully recovered because it's not contracting into tight bands like my left side does. Oddly though, it doesn't really seem to keep me from pedaling hard in or out of the saddle. It might just be that my quads and left hamstring are compensating. Suppose the real test will come when I start doing steep, technical climbs and when I'm squatting in the attack position on long, steep descents.

  8. #8
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    shitty injury. its so rare that there is not enough anectodal eveidence to comfortably develpe a game plan for most patients. i had a baseball kid in today wiht the sameish injury, non surgical we are performing laser and shockwave on him. the best i can find for validation of the shockwave treatment is here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5780296/

    more idea of what shockwave therapy is can be found here; https://glenabbeychiro.com/services/...rapy-oakville/

    best of luck
    If I wanted to objectify a women I'd do it on my terms not theirs.

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