Outcome of grade I and II hamstring injuries in intercollegiate athletes: A novel rehabilitation protocol

Kelly G. Kilcoyne, Jonathan F. Dickens, David Keblish, John Paul Rue, Ray Chronister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Hamstring muscle strains represent a common and disabling athletic injury with variable recurrence rates and prolonged recovery times.Objectives: To present the outcomes of a novel rehabilitation protocol for the treatment of proximal hamstring strains in an intercollegiate sporting population and to determine any significant differences in the rate of reinjury and time to return to sport based on patient and injury characteristics.Study Design: Retrospective case series.Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 48 consecutive hamstring strains in intercollegiate athletes. The rehabilitation protocol consisted of early mobilization, with flexible progression through supervised drills. Athletes were allowed to return to sport after return of symmetrical strength and range of motion with no pain during sprinting. Primary outcomes included time to return to sport and reinjury rates.Results: All patients returned to their sports, and 3 sustained repeat hamstring strains (6.2% reinjury rate) after a minimum follow-up of 6 months. The average number of days missed from sport was 11.9 (range, 5-23 days). There was no statistically significant difference for time to return to sport between first-time and recurrent injuries and between first- and second-degree injuries (P > 0.05).Conclusions: Grade I and II hamstring strains may be aggressively treated with a protocol of brief immobilization followed by early initiation of running and isokinetic exercises-with an average expected return to sport of approximately 2 weeks and with a relatively low reinjury rate regardless of injury grade (I or II), injury characteristics (including first-time and recurrent injuries), or athlete characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-533
Number of pages6
JournalSports Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • athletes
  • hamstring muscle
  • injury
  • rehabilitation
  • return to sports


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