Pectoralis Major Repair to Alleviate Chest Muscle Pain
Injuries to the pectoralis major muscle, the “pecs,” typically occur during heavy lifting activities that require contraction. A pectoral tear causes chest muscle pain located at the front of the upper arm at the pectoral muscle attachment site. A surgical pectoralis major repair is the recommended treatment option in most cases of a pectoral tear. Dr. Mark Getelman, orthopedic shoulder surgeon in the Van Nuys, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California communities, specializes in surgical treatments involving the pectoralis major.
A fully functional pectoralis major is essential for maximum strength in athletes and other active individuals, as well as labor intensive workers. The muscle is very powerful and is responsible for important shoulder motions and works as an adductor and internal rotator of the arm. It also provides forward flexion and backward extension. The pectoral muscle originates from two points, the clavicle (collarbone) and the sternum (breastbone). These two points join together to form the pectoralis major tendon.
When a pectoral tear occurs, patients experience sudden, sharp pain in the front of the shoulder, followed by swelling and bruising. Some patients may also notice a visible deformity in the injured area. A proper diagnosis by an orthopedic specialist is critical to determine the extent of injury and proper treatment option.
Pectoralis major repair is recommended by Dr. Getelman so patients can restore strength eliminate the deformity and return to sporting activities. During a pectoralis major repair, Dr. Getelman will reattach the torn muscle and tendon to the humerus (upper arm bone) with strong sutures and anchors. Dr. Getelman prefers to perform the surgical procedure within the first three months, as there is less tendon retraction. More chronic tears can usually be repaired. However, after three months from the original injury, there is usually more scarring and retraction with the tendon and the patient may also require tendon grafting by Dr. Getelman to complete the repair.