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Less Is More
January 2016

A Proximal Hamstring Injury—Getting Off a Slippery Slope

Author Affiliations
  • 1John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, General Medicine Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 3The Sports Physical Therapy Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(1):15-16. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6795

On a hot July night in 2011, at age 58 years, I (M.J.B.) lunged for a perfectly hit tennis ball and felt sudden, severe pain in the back of my right thigh. I immediately collapsed and landed in a plume of red clay. Over the next few days, I was able to bear weight with the help of a cane, though I noticed numbness and impressive bruising down the back of my right leg. Obviously, I had injured my hamstring muscles and likely the posterior cutaneous femoral nerve as well. Being inherently conservative and wanting to avoid overmedicalization, I called my primary care physician, who referred me for a physical therapy consultation.

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