The shoulder joint and surrounding muscles allow for a broad range of movements. One such muscle, the pectoralis, consists of sections known as the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Without this muscle, moving the shoulder forward and across the chest would not be possible.

When there is a rupture to the pectoralis or tendons that join the muscle to the humerus, it is either partial or complete in severity. Unfortunately, a complete pectoralis rupture is more likely to occur and results in a tear in the tendon attached to the bone.

Pectoral Tear Causes

Pectoral tears are common in the fitness and weightlifting communities, due to lifting heavy weights during activities such as the bench press. Other sporting disciplines that can lead to this type of injury include wrestling, mixed martial arts and football. If you are currently using steroid medication, the risk of suffering a pectoral tear is increased.

This type of injury is indicated by a tearing sensation in the muscle that is accompanied by severe pain. It is also common for pain and weakness to radiate through the upper arm. Visibly, you may see bruising and dimpling that appears above the armpit on the affected side.

Treating Pectoralis Tendon Tears

In the first instance, ice and immobilization of the arm, shoulder and chest is recommended. Although you may not need surgery for a partial pectoralis tear, a complete tear normally requires surgical intervention. However, in all cases, it is important to seek a consultation with a specialist in order to ascertain the severity of the injury.

Early treatment for a pectoralis tear is recommended to avoid significant atrophy and scarring of the muscle. For those who are engaged in sporting activities and wish to return to action, surgery may represent the only way of getting back in the game.

Dr. Steve Struhl can offer a specialist consultation at his Joint Separation Repair offices in NYC. The type of treatment that you receive will depend on the location and nature of your injury. Call our offices today to set up an appointment and begin the healing process as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD