In my many years of practice, I’ve had only one parent ask me not to x-ray her child, who was a good runner for his high school but had a chronic hamstring pull. After I explained the purpose of the exam, however, this mother agreed to the x-rays.
To our surprise, the young man had an avulsion fracture of the pelvis (see Figure 7), which is the bone the hamstring attaches to. An avulsion fracture is a break in the bone at the site where the muscle attaches to the bone. The muscle was so contracted, it actually pulled the bone away from the larger bone. This is a serious form of a stress fracture, and I believe it’s likely that we could have prevented such a fracture if this young man had been examined and treated earlier.
All four of this young athlete’s x-rays show biomechanical abnormalities. Figure 11 shows the avulsion (stress) fracture. The side view of the low back (see Figure 12) shows an increased low back curve with the athlete’s center of gravity (the long vertical line) falling significantly ahead of where it should (the short vertical line).
The imbalance produced an increased pelvic angle (52 degrees), which greatly increased the stress at the point where his hamstrings attached to his pelvis. The normal angle for the pelvic angle is 36–42 degrees. As you can see, this pelvis is at 52 degrees, increasing the demands on many attachments to the pelvis, including the hamstrings.
Parents who understand the value of the four x-rays taken for the Structural Fingerprint® Exam agree to allow their child to undergo the exam. The information gained from the x-rays is vital in detecting structural problems and predicting what the young athlete’s future might hold. The x-rays provide 60 percent of the information needed on this exam.