Doctor reacted to Christian McCaffrey’s hamstring injury

Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans. After the game, Texans head coach Matt Rhule said the team does not yet know the severity of the injury or how long they will keep McCaffrey out.

On his popular YouTube channel, sports doctor Dr Brian Sutterer best guessed what this might mean for the former Pro Bowler, who has already suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the ninth week of the 2020-2021 season, as well as a high ankle sprain in week 2.

Sutterer begins by acknowledging that the Panthers have yet to say which side of his body McCaffrey was injured. Analyzing the footage, Sutterer says he’s assuming it’s the right side McCaffrey favored when he limped off the pitch. Focusing on a still shot of McCaffrey’s last run, Sutterer focuses on when McCaffrey jumps and stutters, and guesses that’s when the injury happened.

“Most of the time when these hamstrings are injured, they are injured more because of their origin near the pelvis,” he says.

Sutterer focuses specifically on a moment called the “terminal swing phase” of running – when you stretch the hamstrings to the max, putting the hamstrings in a prone position with the foot in front. Then the hamstring triggers eccentrically, says Sutterer, which means it triggers while he’s in front of you to help pull the leg back. It was then that McCaffrey’s injury seems to arrive.

As McCaffrey runs off the field, it’s hard to say which side he’s favoring, and it could be an encouraging sign for fans. “It’s certainly good that his walk is reassuring. He doesn’t seem to be limping,” Sutterer said. He concludes the video with a quick overview of the hamstring muscles – the semi-membranous, semi-tendinous, and biceps femoris – and how they work. The last two form a joint tendon, while the semimembranous is more isolated on the outside of the leg.

When a hamstring injury occurs, the muscles usually tear or the tendons rupture and pull away from the bone, Sutterer explains. But that’s still a very basic overview, and there are of course a lot more variables that can affect the severity of a given injury.

Given this, there is no way to accurately predict whether McCaffrey will need surgery or just additional downtime to heal.

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