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Q: Hamstring Tear Not Healing ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Hamstring Tear Not Healing
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: sarahm19-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2004 15:29 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2004 15:29 PDT
Question ID: 373218
5 months ago, I went for a 3 mile run. When I finished, I stretched
and iced my hamstrings on the couch because i had gotten sore the day
after previous runs. When I stood up I felt and heard a pop, one which
my MRI, physical therapsit, general doc and sports doc have determined
to be a tear in the belly of the lateral head of the gastrocnemius
muscele. I have seen 3 general doctors, 1 sports doc, 2 PTs, 2
chiropractors, a massage therapist and a dietitian.
     I have seen hardly any improvement in the status of my leg in 5
months even though I have stopped all exercise (besides the strength
exercises in physical therapy) No running or going for walks. The main
problem is the muscle fibers keep popping open again. Approx 10 times
in the healing process, maybe even more, I'll do the simplist things
(for example reach foreward to get water, try 1lb on a hamstring curl
when i felt ready, walk for a little in 1 store, rolling over in bed)
and it pops. For the next couple days I am in such stinging pain that
I can't get out of bed. After a few days, I start back at day 1 with
the crutches and I am weaker.
       Here are the things that have been happening with my leg since
the very beginning: a purple, mottled look on the hamstring, the whole
leg is swollen and constantly painful (mostly just behind the knee),
sudden stabs of pain everywhere from my butt to my toes, a cold
feeling on my leg, a burning feeling on the front side of my knee and
small bruises on the hamstring. The MRI said that everything else (the
knee, meniscus, everything) was fine. It said simply the tear and
     I had vascular problems such as blood clots ruled out with tons
of vascular tests and two full blood tests - everything normal. I saw
a dietitian who said my diet is great - tons of protein. Here are the
things I'm doing for my leg (that I've been doing since the
beginning): Massage/ultrasound 3 times per week, use of an electric
stimulator 2 times per week, daily strengthening and stretching, heat
(when not newly torn) and I'm taking bee pollen, glutamine, vit E,
multivitamin, circulation formula, vioxx, magnesium, ginger,arnica,
bromelain and motrin.
       All of the doctors I see tell me I should be doing 5-10 lbs on
my hamstring stregthening exercises. I'm doing hamstring curls, calf
raises and some butt exercises because I have major atrophy from being
on crutches for like 2 months. The problem is, I'm too weak for even 1
lb! I tried that and it retore. I was told it could take up to a year
to heal completely, but I am not seeing ANY progress, I can still
barely walk. My doctor said surgery is impossible because the muscle
fibers would not hold together. He also said no to cortisone shots.
     My questions are 1) Is this type of re-opening setbacks common
with muscle tears? 2) Is it possible that the fibers are not healing
straight (does that happen to people?), that's why it  keeps
reoccuring? If so, what can be done about that? And is there anything
else that would help me? Thank you.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Hamstring Tear Not Healing
From: gimme1-ga on 07 Aug 2004 07:16 PDT
Q  "Is this type of re-opening setbacks common with muscle tears?"
Yes. But note that recurrent hamstrings strains may be indicative of
an underlying problem in the lower (lumbar) spine or the knee. See - (scroll to section 'Focal Signs') (see
last paragraph 'neural hamstrings' list (see scenario1)

Q  "Is it possible that the fibers are not healing straight (does that
happen to people?), that's why it keeps reoccuring?

Probably answered in the last reference above.
Subject: Re: Hamstring Tear Not Healing
From: tlspiegel-ga on 07 Aug 2004 10:30 PDT
Hi sarahm19,

Soft tissue injuries take an extra long time to heal.

The injury will heal with scar tissue, which is not as flexible as
muscle and doesn't perform as well. Scar tissue in the middle of the
muscle may predispose you to reinjury and potentially leave the muscle
weaker than it was before the injury.

A previously injured muscle is more likely to tear again, particularly
if it was not fully rehabilitated. Physical therapy is very important
to help you strengthen a damaged muscle.
Active Release Therapy is a specialized massage technique which uses
intense localized pressure combined with simple stretching exercises
to relieve soft tissue pain caused by injured muscles, whiplash, or
repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The therapist manipulates muscle tissue to restore sliding of layers
of muscle across each other, loosen knots in the muscle, or release
nerves which are stuck to the muscle tissue.

Problems are typically relieved in three to six 10 - 15 minute
sessions, after which some practitioners claim a 96% success rate.

Developed by Colorado Springs chiropractor Michael Leahy in the early
eighties, the technique has become especially popular among athletes.
Conventional treatments for these conditions include anti-inflammatory
drugs, deep-tissue massage, or splinting and for the most serious
cases, surgery is often indicated.

Best regards,

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