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MRI findings correlate with difficult dissection during proximal hamstring repair and with postoperative sciatica.

Skeletal Radiology 2024 April 7
OBJECTIVE: This study examines the correlation between MRI findings and difficult dissection during proximal primary hamstring repair and postoperative sciatica.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 32 cases of surgically repaired hamstring tendon tears that underwent preoperative and postoperative MRI were divided into sciatica (n = 12) and control (n = 20) groups based on the presence or absence of postoperative sciatica. Cases were scored by two blinded musculoskeletal radiologists for imaging features associated with difficult surgical dissection and the development of subsequent sciatica. Intra- and interrater agreements, as well as correlation of MRI findings with symptoms (odds ratio, OR), were calculated.

RESULTS: On preoperative MRI, diffuse hamstring muscle edema pattern suggestive of active denervation (OR 9.4-13.6), and greater sciatic perineural scar circumference (OR 1.9-2) and length (OR 1.2-1.3) were significantly correlated with both difficult dissection and postoperative sciatica. Preoperatively, a greater number of tendons torn (OR 3.3), greater tear cross-sectional area (CSA, OR 1.03), and increased nerve T2-weighted signal (OR 3.2) and greater perineural scar thickness (OR 1.7) were also associated with difficult dissection, but not postoperative sciatica. On postoperative MRI, hamstring denervation, sciatic nerve tethering to the hamstring tendon, and development of perineural scar and greater perineural scar extent were all significantly correlated with postoperative sciatica.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative hamstring MRI demonstrates findings predictive of difficult sciatic nerve dissection; careful MRI evaluation of the nerve and for the presence and extent of perineural scar is important for preoperative planning. Preoperative and postoperative MRI both depict findings that correlate with postoperative sciatica.

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