Gabriele - Proximal Hamstring Repair

In July 2016, believing I was still 29 and not 56, I was playing Frisbee after a rainstorm, slipped in the wet grass and fell into a very awkward split, followed by excruciating pain. I was told by the ER physicians that it was probably a hamstring sprain and they sent me on my way. A later MRI determined that I tore all three of my hamstring tendons right off the hip bone. Since this is a rather rare injury usually attributed to young professional athletes, surgery was not recommended due to my age and athletic status. I was told that scar tissue would form and I would be able to function. 

However, the no-surgery route meant that the tendon would never be attached again and there was a good possibility that the scar tissue could push on the sciatic nerve and cause chronic pain in the future. 

I am by no means an athlete, but I am an avid hiker. I have hiked the Alps and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and my plan after retirement is to hike the 500-mile Camino de Santiago from France to the Spanish coast. When it was recommended that I switch to walking flat rails-and-trails instead of hiking mountains, I knew I had to find a competent surgeon who would be willing to make me whole again. 

During my research, I came across several excellent published articles on proximal hamstring avulsions and repair, which were co-authored by Dr. Steven B. Cohen of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. I called and could not believe my luck that I actually got an appointment with Dr. Cohen and was scheduled for surgery within a week at Riddle Surgical Center. This was 3 hours from my home, but I never regret making this call and being persistent. 

The surgery was a huge success. My sister, who is a wound care nurse, commented on the exceptional neatness of the surgical incision and closure. The recovery period was long due to the nature of this injury and I had to wear a brace for 8 weeks, but everything healed exceptionally well. It has been 6 months since surgery and I have no pain and can do again what I did before my injury. I am so grateful for Dr. Cohen and his staff for giving me my life back. I will most certainly have many happy trails! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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