During the physical exam, your doctor will check for swelling and points of tenderness along the back of your thigh. The location and intensity of your pain can help determine the extent and nature of the damage. Your doctor might also move your injured leg into a variety of positions to help pinpoint which muscle has been injured and if you also have any ligament or tendon damage.
In severe hamstring injuries, the muscle can tear or even detach from where it's connected to the pelvis or shinbone. Sometimes, a small piece of bone is pulled away (avulsion fracture) from the main bone when this detachment occurs. X-rays can check for avulsion fractures, while ultrasound and MRIs can visualize tears in your muscles and tendons.
Dec. 05, 2012
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Fields KB, et al. Hamstring injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Hamstring muscle injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00408. Accessed Sept. 28, 2012.
- Sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/sprains_strains/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 28, 2012.