Jock Doc

Torn hamstring needs immediate care

Q. Two weeks ago, I slipped on a wet soccer field and felt a sharp pain and a pop on the left side of my buttock. It hurt a lot, and I have weakness flexing my knee and straightening my hip. I saw a sports doctor, who ordered an MRI scan and told me I had torn my hamstrings off my pelvic bone. He said I needed surgery. Is there any other treatment?

A: The hamstring muscles go from your pelvis to below your knee. They help straighten out your hip and flex your knee. In an active person, particularly an athlete, if the hamstrings are not attached, then permanent weakness is likely. The surgery also becomes much more difficult if you wait more than four weeks after the injury to fix it.

The surgery reattaches the hamstring(s) to the Ischium (pelvis). The success rate is usually very good. A recent study of 10 professional football players showed that after surgical repair, all of them returned to pro football. I would contact your doctor for follow-up care as quickly as possible.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to