Query on effect of hamstringing

HareBrain

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In legend, Wayland the Smith was hamstrung by the king who captured him, to stop him escaping. I'm using the figure of Wayland in a story, and need to know how much movement he would have left. When I look up "hamstringing" the sources just say it leaves the victim crippled and suggest the leg is completely useless, but on the Franks Casket Wayland is shown standing (at extreme left of pic), though with weirdly bent legs. I really just need to know if he would be able to stand and walk (albeit slowly and awkwardly). I can make some allowance for the fact that he's a hero/demigod, but not if hamstringing renders the leg completely useless.
 

Venusian Broon

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I'm looking at "The Roman History of AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS" (from about CE400+ I believe) and every time hamstringing is mentioned, it more-or-less implies that that person is severely incapacitated and will die if left to their own devices.

I think standing on your own might be difficult, and a normal stride is now out of the question - both properly bending the knee and hip extensions are finished - but if aided by some form of crutch or two you could use you upper body and the remaining muscles to hobble about. Your (intact, I assume) quads should be able to straighten your leg and lift it up a bit. I am no expert but possibly you could walk about like a Thunderbird marionette? A bit of a life and death situation if you are miles away from any help on a deserted battlefield, but if you are being held captive in a prison cell, that's less of a problem.

All of the above is assuming both legs have been hamstrung. Perhaps you only needed to lame one leg to ensure a prisoner couldn't run away - would certainly help with standing and a bit better mobility.
 

Montero

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One night down the fencing club, one of the older fencers came in and didn't warm up properly before leaping into an energetic bout - it was sabre which tends to be done more as short stepped sprinting than in the classic fencing bent knee pose. There was a heck of crack and a scream and he was lying on the ground clutching one leg that looked really odd - with the calf muscle all bunched up near the back of the knee joint. He'd snapped his achilles tendon aka hamstring. After surgery, and rehab, he was back fencing and I heard some talk involving carbon fibre but not the details.

In terms of smithing with a duff leg, it would take you a while to find your new balance and would spoil your hammer swing. And with a major muscle out of action your balance might be out for a long time. Also no lifting by bending the knees I suspect.
 

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