Objective To prospectively evaluate 1-year clinical and radiological outcomes after operative and non-operative treatment of proximal hamstring tendon avulsions.
Methods Patients with an MRI-confirmed proximal hamstring tendon avulsion were included. Operative or non-operative treatment was selected by a shared decision-making process. The primary outcome was the Perth Hamstring Assessment Tool (PHAT) score. Secondary outcome scores were Proximal Hamstring Injury Questionnaire, EQ-5D-3L, Tegner Activity Scale, return to sports, hamstring flexibility, isometric hamstring strength and MRI findings including proximal continuity.
Results Twenty-six operative and 33 non-operative patients with a median age of 51 (IQR: 37–57) and 49 (IQR: 45–56) years were included. Median time between injury and initial visit was 12 (IQR 6–19) days for operative and 21 (IQR 12–48) days for non-operative patients (p=0.004). Baseline PHAT scores were significantly lower in the operative group (32±16 vs 45±17, p=0.003). There was no difference in mean PHAT score between groups at 1 year follow-up (80±19 vs 80±17, p=0.97). Mean PHAT score improved by 47 (95% CI 39 to 55, p<0.001) after operative and 34 (95% CI 27 to 41, p<0.001) after non-operative treatment. There were no relevant differences in secondary clinical outcome measures. Proximal continuity on MRI was present in 20 (95%, 1 recurrence) operative and 14 (52%, no recurrences) non-operative patients (p=0.008).
Conclusion In a shared decision-making model of care, both operative and non-operative treatment of proximal hamstring tendon avulsions resulted in comparable clinical outcome at 1-year follow-up. Operative patients had lower pretreatment PHAT scores but improved substantially to reach comparable PHAT scores as non-operative patients. We recommend using this shared decision model of care until evidence-based indications in favour of either treatment option are available from high-level clinical trials.
- hamstring tendons
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors ADvdM (guarantor) was involved in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation and drafting. RWP and CV were involved in data collection and drafting. FS was involved for his radiological expertise, assessment of MRIs and drafting. GR, MHM, JLT and GMMJK were involved in study design, data interpretation and drafting.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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