Proximal hamstring tendon avulsions: comparable clinical outcomes of operative and non-operative treatment at 1-year follow-up using a shared decision-making model

Anne D. van der Made, Rolf W. Peters, Claire Verheul, Frank F. Smithuis, Gustaaf Reurink, Maarten H. Moen, Johannes L. Tol, Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104588
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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