Snapping Hamstrings – Frisco, TX
Hamstring refers to a group of muscles that enable the bending of the leg and the knee joint. There are three main muscles that constitute the hamstring- the biceps femoris semitendinosus and the semimembranosus. These begin at the lower end of the pelvis and move down to the shin bone. Snapping Hamstrings is a rare condition that occurs when one of the hamstring tendons is caught above a bony protrusion and they snap. The snapping is therefore felt in front of the hip, at the outer part or at the rear side of joint. In most cases, the biceps femoris tendon rolls over the head of the fibula bone when the patient squats and regains its normal position when the leg is straightened. This results in snapping.

Causes Of Snapping Hamstrings

  • If the patient has undergone medial meniscus repair surgery, ACL reconstruction and a scar tissue is formed as an after effect of the procedure. The snapping may occur every time the semitendinosus tendon crosses the semimembranosus tendon
  • Development of bone spurs (osteophytes) may interfere with the tendon function
  • Genetic and congenital disorders in the formation of the tendon have also been held responsible for such conditions
  • Previous injuries to the knee joint

Symptoms Of Snapping Hamstrings

  • The patient may get a feeling of something snapping or as if the joint is subluxing during a movement that involves the knee joint. In some cases the clunk is audible and causes a lot of discomfort
  • Considerable, deep set pain in the knee while it is bent
  • Numbness on the outer part of the knee joint
  • Palpation of the biceps tendon results in pain

Diagnosis Of Snapping Hamstrings

  • A detailed physical examination of the patient reveals that the pain reoccurs every time he/she is made to squat
  • The patient may be asked to place the entire body weight on the affected leg and then hyperextend the knee as it results in snapping
  • Palpation may be used to reproduce the symptoms and the doctor places the finger at the suspected point of snapping to identify the source
  • MRI scan may be required in most cases
  • X-rays may be used to study the bone structure and health. It helps to diagnose bone spurs

Treatment For Snapping Hamstrings

There is no definitive treatment as this condition is rare. The condition has a high chance of reoccurrence because the hamstring tendons tend to regenerate. Some of the treatment methods have been listed below.

  • Surgical removal of the bone spurs or scar tissues
  • Releasing the tendon from its point of attachment within the joint may help to relieve the snapping
  • Sutures may be used to reattach the biceps femoris tendon back on the fibular styloid
  • Use of an Open Hamstring Harvester, a specific device, for surgical removal of any hamstring tendon with minimal invasion
  • The patient may be asked to use crutches for 4-6 weeks post surgery to allow the soft tissues to heal. The activity level or intensity is gradually increased over a period of 6-8 weeks post surgery