BACKGROUND: Avulsion injury of the hamstring muscles from their origin on the ischium is an uncommon injury. In persons aged 14 to 25 years, such an avulsion may include detachment of an epiphyseal fragment at the growth plate of the ischial apophysis. The literature suggests that surgery is not necessary unless there is a large displacement of the fragment. The objective of this report is to present evidence that treatment planning should be based on symptoms, regardless of displacement. METHODS: Between July 1998 and July 2002, 3 consecutive patients with avulsion of the immature ischial apophysis were evaluated by the senior author. In each case the bony fragment was excised and the hamstrings were reattached to the ischium with suture anchors. All patients were assessed postoperatively by biodex strength testing. RESULTS: The average age of the patients was 15 years and the average time to repair was 7 months from the time of injury. The average retraction was 3.7 cm. The average follow-up period was 78 months. The average strength was 86% and the average power was 100% compared with the contralateral side at the final follow-up. In all 3 cases pain was relieved, and with adequate rehabilitation normal strength was regained and the subjects returned to sport. There was one complication involving an activity-related peroneal nerve palsy. This was treated by neurolysis with good functional return. CONCLUSIONS: The 3 cases presented here suggest that treatment should be planned on the basis of pain and disability rather than pathology, and that surgical treatment can effectively address a chronic condition. Each case requires an individualized treatment plan and should include a consideration of the patient's functional goals.