Hamstring

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Hamstring
Gray1239.png
Posterior view of left lower extremity.
Interior muscular view of the three muscles that make up the hamstring
Gray'ssubject #128 478
Origintuberosity of the ischium, linea aspera
Insertion   tibia, fibula
Arteryinferior gluteal artery, profunda femoris artery
Nervesciatic nerve (tibial nerve and common fibular nerve)[1][2]
Actionsflexion of knee, extension of hip
AntagonistRectus femoris muscle
 
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Hamstring
Gray1239.png
Posterior view of left lower extremity.
Interior muscular view of the three muscles that make up the hamstring
Gray'ssubject #128 478
Origintuberosity of the ischium, linea aspera
Insertion   tibia, fibula
Arteryinferior gluteal artery, profunda femoris artery
Nervesciatic nerve (tibial nerve and common fibular nerve)[1][2]
Actionsflexion of knee, extension of hip
AntagonistRectus femoris muscle

In human anatomy, the hamstring is a group of tendons contracted by three posterior thigh muscles (semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris) that make up the borders of the space behind the knee, or their corresponding tendons.

In quadrupeds, it is the single large tendon found behind the knee or comparable area.

Etymology[edit]

The word ham originally referred to the fat and muscle behind the knee. String refers to tendons, and thus, the hamstrings are the string-like tendons felt on either side of the back of the knee.[3]

The three muscles of the posterior thigh (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris long & short head) flex (bend) the knee, while all but the short head of biceps femoris extend (straighten) the hip. The three 'true' hamstrings cross both the hip and the knee joint and are therefore involved in knee flexion and hip extension. The short head of the biceps femoris crosses only one joint (knee) and is therefore not involved in hip extension. With its divergent origin and innervation it is sometimes excluded from the 'hamstring' characterization.[4]

MuscleOriginInsertionNerve
semitendinosusischial tuberositymedial surface of tibiatibial
semimembranosusischial tuberositymedial tibial condyletibial
biceps femoris - long headischial tuberositylateral side of the head of the fibulatibial
biceps femoris - short headlinea aspera and lateral supracondylar line of femurlateral side of the head of the fibula (common tendon with the long head)common peroneal

A portion of the adductor magnus is sometimes considered a part of the hamstrings.[4]

Functions[edit]

The hamstrings cross and act upon two joints - the hip and the knee.

Semitendinosus and semimembranosus extend the hip when the trunk is fixed; they also flex the knee and medially (inwardly) rotate the lower leg when the knee is bent.

The long head of the biceps femoris extends the hip as when beginning to walk; both short and long heads flex the knee and laterally (outwardly) rotates the lower leg when the knee is bent.

The hamstrings play a crucial role in many daily activities, such as, walking, running, jumping, and controlling some movement in the trunk. In walking, they are most important as an antagonist to the quadriceps in the deceleration of knee extension.

Imaging[edit]

Tear of the hamstrings muscles at the ischial tuberosity seen on MRI (coronal STIR). The arrowheads indicate the tuber and the retracted tendon stump. Significant bleeding around and into the muscles.

Imaging the hamstring muscles is usually performed with an ultrasound and/or MRI.[5]  The biceps femoris is most commonly injured, followed by semitendinosus. Semimembranosus injury is rare. Imaging is useful in differentiating the grade of strain, especially if the muscle is completely torn.[6] In this setting, the level and degree of retraction can be determined, serving as a useful roadmap prior to any surgery. Those with a hamstring strain of greater than 60mm in length have a greater risk of recurrence.[7]

Use in surgery[edit]

The distal semitendinosus tendon is one of the tendons that can be used in the surgical procedure ACL reconstruction. In this procedure, a piece of it is used to replace the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the knee.

Training[edit]

In strength training, squats, knee curls and the Romanian deadlift are combined with other lower body exercises to develop the hamstrings.

Hamstring extension is key to determining flexibility, assessed by performing a sit and reach test.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ University of Glasgow :: Biomedical & Life Sciences :: Biomedical & Life Sciences
  2. ^ "Biceps Femoris - Short Head — Musculoskeletal Radiology — UW Radiology". Rad.washington.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  4. ^ a b Template:Norman Anatomy
  5. ^ Koulouris G, Connell D. (2003). "Evaluation of the hamstring muscle complex following acute injury".  Skeletal Radiol. 32 (10): 582–9. doi:10.1007/s00256-003-0674-5. PMID 12942206. 
  6. ^ Schache AG, Koulouris G, Kofoed W, Morris HG, Pandy MG (2008). "Rupture of the conjoint tendon at the proximal musculotendinous junction of the biceps femoris long head: a case report.".  Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 16 (8): 797–802. doi:10.1007/s00167-008-0517-y. PMID 18360748. 
  7. ^ Koulouris G, Connell DA, Brukner P, Schneider-Kolsky M. (2007). "Magnetic resonance imaging parameters for assessing risk of recurrent hamstring injuries in elite athletes.".  Am J Sports Med. 35 (9): 1500–6. PMID 174262838. 

External links[edit]