Hamstring Injury Workup

Updated: May 22, 2018
  • Author: Herman Brad Ruiz, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

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  • Laboratory studies are typically not needed to make the diagnosis of hamstring injury. Most often, a diagnosis can be made with the history and physical examination alone.

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Resource Centers Pathology & Lab Medicine


Imaging Studies

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  • In most cases, imaging studies have no role in the workup of hamstring injuries.

    • Radiographs of the pelvis can be negative even though the patient may have a bony avulsion. However, radiographs may reveal calcifications that may be present in patients with chronic hamstring pain.

    • Ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies 2-3 days postinjury may be recommended to rule out total muscular rupture or an intramuscular hematoma if significant weakness is still present.

    • An MRI is often ordered to help clinicians prepare for possible surgery if radiographs reveal a gross deformity.



Past treatment options for acute hamstring injuries included intramuscular corticosteroids; however, given the evidence of delayed healing in acute muscle injury as well as muscle atrophy, this treatment could have detrimental effects over the long term.

In a retrospective study of the use of intramuscular corticosteroid injection for hamstring injuries in professional football players, Levine et al found that players with a partial hamstring tear had no ill effects of the corticosteroid injection in terms of functional outcome [10] ; however, the follow-up time frame was not clearly defined. Although this study does not address the issue of the physiologic effects of corticosteroids in muscle injury, it does offer some initial clinical outcomes for this procedure in athletes. [10]

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Resource Center Pain Management: Advanced Approaches to Chronic Pain Management

Resource Center Pain Management: Pharmacologic Approaches