Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear Surgery

There are two primary surgical options for a Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear:

  1. Open Repair: In this procedure, a large incision is made in the chest area and the torn tendon is sewn back onto the bone with sutures. This method provides direct visualisation of the torn tendon.
  2. Arthroscopic Repair: This technique uses smaller incisions and a camera (arthroscope) to guide the surgery. The torn tendon is reattached to the bone using small instruments and sutures. This method causes less tissue damage and may result in a faster recovery time.

Expected Surgery Outcome

The goal of both surgeries is to restore the function and strength of the pectoralis major muscle. Most patients experience a significant improvement in shoulder function and a reduction in pain. However, the eventual outcome may depend on the severity of the tear, the patient’s health status, and the quality of post-operative rehabilitation.

Potential surgery complications and risks

Complications can include infection, nerve damage, and complications from anaesthesia. Some patients may experience stiffness or a limitation in shoulder movement. There’s also a risk that the reattached tendon may not heal properly, necessitating further surgery.


  • Infection: Surgical site infection may occur, requiring antibiotic treatment.
  • Nerve Damage: There’s a risk of damaging nerves during surgery, leading to temporary or permanent changes in sensation or muscle function.
  • Anaesthesia Complications: Allergic reactions to anaesthesia, or problems with breathing, are potential risks.
  • Stiffness or Loss of Motion: Some patients may experience a limited range of motion after surgery.
  • Non-healing of the Tendon: Occasionally, the reattached tendon may not heal properly, requiring further surgery.

Recovery after surgery

After surgery, the arm is typically immobilised in a sling for several weeks to allow the tendon to heal. Physiotherapy usually begins within a few weeks to restore movement and strength. Full recovery can take several months and depends on the severity of the initial injury, the type of surgery performed, and the patient’s adherence to the rehabilitation program.