A hamstrings graft harvest is a surgical operation to remove a hamstrings tendon from the inner aspect of the thigh, for use in a graft procedure.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

the hamstrings tendons

In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision over the attached lower ends of the semitendinosus ('semi-T') and gracilis, and frees this part from the underlying bone. A 'tendon stripper' then picks up the free end of each tendon and is advanced up into the thigh to shear off a long strip of tendon, which is then freed for use as a graft.


Why are they called 'hamstring' tendons?

The long tendons of this group of muscles allowed butchers to hang pig legs up on a hook in order to make ham, and this is how they got their name. Three muscles comprise the group known as the hamstrings - the Biceps Femoris muscle, the Semitendinosus muscle and the  Semimembranosus muscle. For a hamstrings graft it is usually the semitendinosus tendon that is harvested, often together with the Gracilis tendon (which is not a hamstring. After a small incision is made through the skin, the tendons are revealed, and a tendon stripper is used to slide up the tendons and free them from their muscles.

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Hamstrings harvest

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

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