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Successful surgeries for elite athletes making the new methods available for everyone


Mehiläinen Sports Hospital Turku and its world-class doctor Lasse Lempainen, trusted by the brightest stars of elite sports, are happy to present new data on the latest successful surgery treatment that helps athletes with hamstring injuries.

The study performed by adjunct professor Lasse Lempainen‘s research team was inspired by the lack of sufficient data to date and aimed to present new methodological approach to surgical treatment based on many years of successful treatment on world class athletes. The approach is fundamentally different from today’s views on hamstring injury treatment and allows athletes to return to the level they were before the injury and show brilliant game to the delight of their coaches, club management and fans alike.


Trusted by professional athletes

Mehiläinen Sports Hospital Turku, founded in 2011 by Professor Sakari Orava, has been working with several international sports clubs including such renowned teams as FC Barcelona and AS Roma as well as football clubs of the Russian Premier League: FC Zenith, CSKA Moscow and FC Rostov. The teams benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of Lasse Lempainen and his colleagues drawing both upon the latest research described in professional literature and their own first-hand experience.

Doctor Lasse Lempainen and Mehiläinen Sports Hospital Turku are working with several international sports clubs

Their latest research illustrates a groundbreaking idea that hamstring injuries need to be treated, including surgical treatment, regardless of the injury location (proximal, middle, or distal). The complexity of the anatomical region lies in the fact that all three tendons are different and require an individual approach to diagnostics and treatment. The decision-making process and subsequent outcomes for the recovery of athletes should be considered in terms of which tendon is damaged.

As stated in the research work, hamstring injuries are common in running, sprinting, and jumping and especially widespread in football with up to five reported hamstring strains per club per season.

Most hamstring injuries are currently treated conservatively, and surgery is generally not necessary. However, according to Lempainen’s experience and observations, the treatment and rehabilitation of hamstring injuries are still largely non-optimal since recurrent hamstring injuries occur far too often witnessing to the importance of a case-by-case approach.

Recurrent hamstring injuries are particularly common in football where they often lead to substantial loss of play and can eventually jeopardize players’ careers.


Decision making starts with exact diagnosis

The three major muscles forming the hamstring muscle group are biceps femoris (BF), semimembranosus (SM), and semitendinosus (ST). These individual muscles serve different functions and exert a specific role and specific contact times while walking, running, or turning, although their anatomy partially overlaps proximally.

Based on their clinical observations, the Finnish researchers believe that hamstring injuries should be treated according to which individual muscles and tendons are involved. Each hamstring muscle has its own function, purpose, and injury pattern. If one of these three tendons is completely ruptured, it may permanently impair the athlete’s performance and often also cause significant pain.

Clear evidence-based guidelines concerning proximal isolated injuries of ST, SM, and BF are not available in current literature. Studies have introduced injury types which could correlate to poorer prognosis, and therefore treatment algorithms points toward to surgical or non-surgical treatments have been made. However, the current literature does not consider these hamstring muscles or tendons individually.

Doctor Lasse Lempainen preparing for operation

The first step in decision making is to formulate an exact diagnosis. Clinical findings, mechanism of injury, and patient’s history lead to the suspicion of a hamstring injury which is typically verified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that allows detecting the location and extent of the injury.

Based on the present knowledge of anatomy and the different functions of each of the tendons coupled with MRI capabilities allowing to formulate an accurate diagnosis, the term “hamstring injury” seems somewhat inaccurate. To improve the standard level of treatment, especially for athletes, it is necessary to precisely identify which individual muscle(s) is (are) affected. Formulating a precise diagnosis would prompt to talk about BF, SM, or ST injury, or a combination of them. In case of high-performance athletes, complete single-tendon avulsions or their combined injuries, could lead to a marked loss of function and chronic disability therefore often requiring surgical treatment on a case-by-case basis.



Original study: Lempainen Lasse, et al. Tears of Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus, And Semitendinosus are Not Equal-A New Individual Muscle-Tendon Concept in Athletes. Scand J Surg. 2021

Lasse Lempainen. Article on Malcolm’s Recovery, FC Zenit

Lasse Lempainen. Interview for