Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear

A Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear is a serious injury that primarily affects the tendon connecting the pectoralis major muscle to the bone. The pectoralis major muscle, located in the chest, is responsible for controlling various arm movements. This type of injury is common among athletes involved in weightlifting, wrestling, and other physical activities that put excessive strain on the chest muscles.

Symptoms

The common symptoms associated with a Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear include:

  • Sudden pain in the chest or upper arm
  • Difficulty in moving the arm, especially inwards or forwards
  • Swelling or bruising around the upper arm
  • Visible deformity or bulging in the chest area
  • A ‘pop’ sensation at the time of injury

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear usually involves:

  • Physical Examination: The doctor will examine the chest area, looking for visible signs of injury, such as swelling, bruising or deformity.
  • Imaging Tests: This may include an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to get a detailed view of the injury and to pinpoint the location of the tear.

Prevention

Preventive measures for a Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear include:

  • Regular Exercise: Regular strengthening exercises can help to keep the muscles strong and flexible.
  • Proper Technique: It’s important to use proper form and technique when lifting heavy weights or participating in high-impact activities.
  • Gradual Progression: Never increase the intensity of your workouts suddenly. Gradually increasing the load can prevent undue stress on the muscles and tendons.

Treatment

The treatment of Pectoralis Major Tendon Tears depends on the severity of the injury:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment: Mild injuries can often be managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter pain medication can also be used to manage pain.
  • Surgical Treatment: In more severe cases, surgery might be needed to reattach the torn tendon to the bone. Post-surgery, the arm is usually immobilised for a certain period to facilitate healing.
  • Physiotherapy: Regardless of whether the treatment is surgical or non-surgical, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in rehabilitation. It helps restore strength and range of motion in the affected arm through a series of tailored exercises and stretches.