UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Pectoralis Major Rupture

Keywords: Chest, muscle injury (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/24/2016 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

30yo male weight lifter who 10 days ago had a painful left shoulder injury after bench press. The next morning his left anterior chest wall and left upper arm were bruised and swollen. He went to see his PCP who diagnosed him with a muscle strain. 8 days later the bruising and swelling have resolved but he still cant move his shoulder and comes to the ED.

The pec major attaches to the humerus and originates from the sternum and clavicle

Injury is usually due to tendon rupture off the humerus but can also occur at the muscle tendon junction or within the muscle belly itself.

Injury is becoming increasingly common due to the popularity in power lifting sports.

Mechanism: excessive tension on a maximally eccentrically contracted muscle.

Patients will complain of pain and weakness of the shoulder.

PE: Swelling and bruising to anterior medial arm. Palpable defect and deformity or anterior axially fold (may be hidden by swelling).

Weakness and pain with adduction and internal rotation and forward flexion

Chronic presentations can be challenging to diagnose. Consider ultrasound

Non operative treatment may be indicated for partial tears (sling, ice, NSAIDs)

Operative repair of tendon avulsions is very successful. Patients age, occupation/activity level and location of injury and condition of tear are considered.