Background: Lumbar intervertebral disc herniation is infrequently encountered in children and adolescents. Additional signs and symptoms such as postural deformities and abnormal gait accompany the classical findings of lumbar root irritation. These unusual signs have been described in the literature as "tight hamstrings syndrome". Waddling gait with flexed knees is considered as pathognomonic for this condition and may be masked by the signs of root irritation due to prolapsed intervertebral disc material. Case report and discussion: We report an adolescent patient with lumbar disc herniation in whom gait abnormality and limitation of lumbar movements persisted after surgical intervention. A review of the literature on tight hamstrings is presented.