US Open without Serena Williams: Why is hamstring injury still an issue?

US Open without Serena Williams: Why is hamstring injury still an issue? 1024 768 Taiwo Adeshigbin

Serena Williams initially injured her hamstring during Wimbledon in late June. The US Open started on August 24, but she pulled out.

 

“After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring,” Williams wrote on her Instagram.

 

Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, said the short amount of time would not allow her to make a safe recovery. He said Williams could hit stationary balls. But when she performed lateral movements, the intense pain returned.

Mouratoglou told CBS Sports in an interview, “We did exams [MRI], and we realized that there was still a tear on the tendon that was not completely back to normal.

 

“Even though we tried, with one week until the US Open, we realized finally that there was a big risk with playing. The risk of a much worse injury which was really there because if you play with a tear in the tendon and you go too far, the tendon can completely break and it’s something you don’t want to risk.”

 

Why is the hamstring injury taking so long to heal?

The hamstring muscles are commonly injured when it is in a stretched position: sprinting, changing directions, rapidly decelerating or jumping.

 

A hamstring muscle injury can be a grade I (minimal damage), II (moderate), or III (a complete tear or rupture).

 

A minor hamstring injury may not require imaging, but an MRI can determine the location and extent of your hamstring injury. An injury higher into the buttock, where the hamstring tendon attaches to the bone, may take longer to heal compared to one along the middle of your thigh.

 

Williams’ hamstring injury was along the tendon, closer to the buttock region. The injury location makes it a harder recovery, seeing she still had pain after nearly two months since the initial injury.

 

When you are recovering from this injury, it is important not to progress if you are experiencing pain because this could result in a more severe injury, like a complete rupture.

 

The highest risk factor for a hamstring injury is a previous injury. Other factors are age, muscle imbalances, fatigue, flexibility issues and poor nutrition.

 

Williams’ is 39 going on 40 next month. The tennis star’s age and previous injury hamstring history is every reason not to return.

 

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion will return when she has good mobility, strength, and stability, performing dynamic movements without pain.

 

Unsure the next steps for your hamstring injury? You can find a Phoenix Spine & Joint doctor to help you fully recover and decrease your chances of another injury.