Hamstring and calf tears

What is it?

The hamstring and calf muscles are the main muscles along the back of the leg, which are often injured during sporting activities.

Why does it occur?

Injuries to these muscles is often associated with poor warm-up or stretching regimes, and repeated recurrent tears can be a problem in athletes and those who are active regularly.

What are the symptoms?

Swelling and bruising at the back of the thigh or calf, and loss of leg strength, are common symptoms of torn muscles. More severe injuries will usually feel very painful and tender as well. Quite often there is a “popping” sensation at the time of the injury to a hamstring, and difficulty afterwards using the affected leg.

How is it diagnosed?

Your consultant will take a full medical history and give you a physical examination to accurately diagnose a hamstring or calf muscle tear. They can be graded by severity, with 3 tears are the most severe, sometimes taking months to heal.

How is it treated?

Non-surgical treatment

In the vast majority of cases, managing the symptoms with painkillers combined with physiotherapy will resolve the condition. We will also  implement an appropriate injury prevention programme to ensure you do not damage the muscle again. 

Surgical treatment

If the tear is acute, however, and the muscle has completely detached from the bone, surgical reattachment may be necessary for a better long-term outcome. All options will be discussed by your consultant in detail with you.

One Orthopaedics team specialists

Mike Lemon

Consultant Orthopaedic Knee and Hip Specialist FRCS (Tr & Orth)

Oliver Templeton-Ward

Consultant Orthopaedic
Knee Specialist FRCS (Orth)

Kerry Acton

Consultant Orthopaedic Knee and Hip Surgeon FRCS (Tr & Orth)