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Monday, October 12

Did I tear my pec tendon?

In a previous post, I described a pec major tendon tear.  The pectoralis major is the large muscle on the front of the chest.  The tendon attaching the muscle to the test can tear, and this almost always happens in an athletic male performing bench press.  A torn pec tendon is very obvious:  the weight drops, there is severe pain and a feeling of something tearing, and a bruise usually develops.  The pec muscle looks deformed or "caved in".
A right pec tendon tear.

A pec tendon tear is more common in someone who uses steroids, because the muscle grows so big that the tendon can no longer handle it's force.  The presence and severity of a pec tendon tear is confirmed on MRI.
MRI: Arrows show the separated tendon.
A pec tendon tear can be partial and may not need surgery.  If the tear is more serious, however, then surgery is necessary to repair the tendon in order to maintain strength and a normal appearance.  Here I demonstrate the latest technique for repair of the pec major tendon.  A strong initial repair allows for early return to gym activities.


Surgery is very successful and 90% of patients are able to get back in the gym and back to their pre-injury level of function.

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