A pectoralis tendon rupture is an injury most commonly seen in weight lifters, however other sporting activities related to this type of injury include, boxing, football, wrestling, water skiing and rodeo. The pectoralis major muscle is the large muscle that makes up the muscular portion of the chest. When the tendon ruptures, it most likely tears off the arm bone at its insertion. Injury typically occurs when an eccentric load is applied to the muscle, such as with bench pressing, and failure usually occurs through the tendon.
A Pectoralis Repair is done if the tendon has completely ruptured from its insertion. For this surgery, an incision is made above the armpit, the edge of the ruptured tendon is located, and sutures are passed through the end of the tendon. The sutures are then passed through small metallic anchors, specially designed for this purpose. Small holes are placed in the bone to allow the anchors to be inserted. The anchors allow the tendon to be repaired back to its insertion, and hold the tendon in place while it heals. In rare circumstances, donor tendon or tissue is required to get the tendon long enough to be repaired back to the bone.
After surgery, a sling is worn for six weeks. Physical therapy begins six weeks after surgery, starting with range of motion exercises and progressing to light strengthening. Strengthening of the pectoralis muscle begins twelve weeks after surgery. Estimated full recovery from surgery is six months.
Anthony Romeo, MD
Dr. Anthony Romeo is one of the nation’s leading orthopaedic surgeons specializing in the management and surgical treatment of shoulder and elbow conditions. His state-of-the-art practice employs minimally-invasive arthroscopic techniques to accelerate the recovery process for a range of challenging conditions.