Torn Left Pectoral Muscle - Surgery R...
Sam

UK

#376 Dec 15, 2008
John

Cheers for that. My repaired left pecs' strength is catching up with the other but you're probably right. Still, I'll find a way to make the bastard grow when I can lift heavier weights.

Unless it some subconcious thing i.e. fear of rerupturing that's stopping us from fully recruiting the pec! Maybe in a couple of years with a bit more confidence we'll be able to blast it a more. I'm not sure if it's still happening though as I'm past the DOMS phase. It certainly doesn't feel like the delt is taking the load, but then again it never has.
Sam

UK

#377 Dec 15, 2008
Apologies for typos and lack of sense. Long day!
Julian Mountain View CA

San Jose, CA

#378 Dec 17, 2008
I'm 12 days post op from left pec muscle. My surgery got a little complicated because I waited too long (6 weeks since the accident). The Dr. scheduled a 2-hr surgery and ended it up lasting for 3-1/2 hrs. He said that he had to streatch the muscle to the max to be able to reattach it. I have a hard time seating still and I'm afraid that I can rupture it again because I do too much and move a lot. At the end of each day I'm extremely tired, but I still have a difficult time sleeping. I'm taking meds but I'm afraid that they are not working anymore, I wake up every couple of hours.
I pulled my shoulder trying to put a jacket on by myself yesterday and I felt that the insition got reopened.
I'm not sure how much I can do right now, but I cannot wait to be able to get back to the gym. I hate to see my belly growing.

The pain has been shifting around the area. Started around the chest right after surgery, then it moved to my shoulder, and now is on the side of my arm, next to the bisep. Also, right after surgery I had no swellingness, now I noticed my pec and arm are little swollen. Has any body experienced something similar?

Since: Feb 08

United States

#379 Dec 17, 2008
Julian,

Hmmmmm....

A couple of things here with you:(1) Not sure by what you mean that you move around a lot,(2) The repaired side should be locked in your sling/immobilizer for 6 weeks before you move it,(3) Please don't tell us that your trying to put your arm through the coat-arm already. If so, that's far too early,(4) I had some significant swelling about a week after the surgery, but it was just the excess fluid that was draining that built up during the operation. The fluid is completely innocuous and will dissolve on its own and pass through your system in another week. If it doesn’t, get it checked out by the doc,(5) I took meds for only two days post-op, so I'm not quite sure what your deal is,(6) Don't worry about the gym right now. Focus on letting the pec fuse back into place,(7) Make some of those smoothie drinks Pumbertot invented, and (8) Let your woman take care of you for a couple of weeks.
Sam

UK

#380 Dec 19, 2008
I did light decline dumbbell press the a few days and the repaired pec was pretty sore the next day (in a good way), infact more so than the right pec this time. Still, I think it was a bit much too soon so going to lay off that for a while. 20 weeks post-op today.
Julian Mountain View CA

San Jose, CA

#381 Dec 19, 2008
Thanks John. Your comments have been a great resource to go through this.

I have not tried to put my arm through a jacket sleeve yet. I am trying to keep my arm locked to my side, but I do too many things with my other arm and I notice that by the end of the day I'm exhausted and with some pain in different areas of the injury, sometimes it feels like my insition is being ripped open. I feel that no matter what I do, even with my arm inmobilized in the sling, there is some movement of the shoulder and the repaired area.
I take the med only at night to help me get some sleep, otherwise I wake up every hour. With the med I wake up every 3 hours.

You are right about letting my woman take care of me.
JohnDF wrote:
Julian,
Hmmmmm....
A couple of things here with you:(1) Not sure by what you mean that you move around a lot,(2) The repaired side should be locked in your sling/immobilizer for 6 weeks before you move it,(3) Please don't tell us that your trying to put your arm through the coat-arm already. If so, that's far too early,(4) I had some significant swelling about a week after the surgery, but it was just the excess fluid that was draining that built up during the operation. The fluid is completely innocuous and will dissolve on its own and pass through your system in another week. If it doesn’t, get it checked out by the doc,(5) I took meds for only two days post-op, so I'm not quite sure what your deal is,(6) Don't worry about the gym right now. Focus on letting the pec fuse back into place,(7) Make some of those smoothie drinks Pumbertot invented, and (8) Let your woman take care of you for a couple of weeks.
Tony

Ontario, CA

#382 Dec 23, 2008
I have a torn pec, but my case is very different. I had pectoral implants put in about a year ago.I went to a surgeon that was unexperienced. The first two moths were fine, 3 months later i started experiencing pain and discomfort. It turned out i had Capsular contracture. It is common with most male and female patients that have implants. The body rejects the implant and forms scar tissue around the implant. The Dr took the implants out and put in a new set. This time i could not bare the pain so i had him take them out. It has been about 7 months with out the implants and just found out i have a pec tear. Reading all these blogs and having a Dr check it out confirms it. All the symptoms were there like the bruised arm, the pain, loss of movement and concave near the shoulder and arm. i really do hope it is not to late and it can be repaired. All i wanted was a good looking chest and i got screwed! Does any one know a Dr that specializes in pec tear surgery In Los Angeles California? Here is my email aceves32@yahoo.com
shane nickels

Houston, TX

#383 Dec 27, 2008
For about two years I have had a pain in my upper back right side, and the only way I could get momentary relief was to twist sideways and get a good crack in my back.

3 months ago during Hurrican Ike, I was lying on the carpet when I had urge to twist and so I did, but this time I felt electricity flow from my right tricep to my right pectora (right bicep completely unaffected). The muscles in both the tricep and pectoral felt out of place so I twisted and popped them back in again.

Since that time I notice a split down the center of my right pectoral(slight gap), and I have lost tremendous strength on that side.

Doctor advised I get an EMG, but I don't have insurance and it costs about 500-800 dollars.

Could anyone advise me. email address is sizzponchlats@yahoo.com

Thanks.
Julian Mountain View CA

San Jose, CA

#384 Dec 28, 2008
Shane

It sounds like what you really need is an MRI,unfortunately they are also very expensive, but is the only way to find out what is going on with your muscle. The MRI will show if there is a rupture and where it is, this information will be used by your doctor if you need surgery. You need to get a doctor to order an MRI, but make sure they take it at the right location. When I first had my injury my doctor was an idiot and ordered an MRI at the wrong location, which not only did not show anything but delayed the process with the insurance ending up on a 6 week wait before I could have my surgery. As a result the surgery was much more difficult due to the contraction of the muscle and the amount of scar tissue already formed. The pec muscle was stretched to the max to be able to reattach it. I'm now 3 weeks post op and I feel more discomfort now than I did the first week. I feel like something is loose inside my pectoral and like the muscle is under so much tension that is pulling away from the attachment. I also have swelliness around the pec that some times makes me wonder if part of the muscle got detached. It is a really bad feeling. Unfortunately my doctor is on vacation until the 5th of January.
When I'm sitting back on my chair I'm OK, but every time I get up I feel the pull right at the shoulder connection from the pec. This sensation continues while I'm standing up. Has any one felt something similar?
shane nickels wrote:
For about two years I have had a pain in my upper back right side, and the only way I could get momentary relief was to twist sideways and get a good crack in my back.
3 months ago during Hurrican Ike, I was lying on the carpet when I had urge to twist and so I did, but this time I felt electricity flow from my right tricep to my right pectora (right bicep completely unaffected). The muscles in both the tricep and pectoral felt out of place so I twisted and popped them back in again.
Since that time I notice a split down the center of my right pectoral(slight gap), and I have lost tremendous strength on that side.
Doctor advised I get an EMG, but I don't have insurance and it costs about 500-800 dollars.
Could anyone advise me. email address is sizzponchlats@yahoo.com
Thanks.
PVJ

Los Angeles, CA

#385 Dec 28, 2008
Julian, did you have a tendon to bone reattachment? i was 4 months after injury before surgery so, 6 weeks isn't really too bad. my surgeon told me that 3 months is still good, although i missed the 3 months due to misdiagnosis the first time. like you, my surgery was more difficult than the surgeon anticipated, due to muscle retraction and also, because my tendon was shredded due to multiple ruptures, before the complete tendon avulsion from the bone. i'm 10 weeks post op, and really feeling pretty good. i feel a little pull every now and then like when yawning and whenever i get a little careless and move my arm too fast. but other than that, i actually need to keep reminding myself to give myself more time to recover as i'm starting to feel normal again. give yourself more time to recover and re-read a lot of the posts by john df and pumbertot. good luck on your recovery.
pumbertot

Australia

#386 Dec 30, 2008
Julian some swelling can still occur until around the 4th-6th week so I wouldnt be worrying about it just yet. The increase in pain could be due to several things like the tendon is being re-integrated and revascularized by the surrounding tissues. Also during the surgery nerves in that area are sometimes twanged and hence go numb for some time. When the numbness wears off you can feel more discomfort than before. Look my surgery was delayed 3 years so your delay is nothing at all.

lol reminds me of the Monty Python sketch
"You had it easy, when I were a lad.........."
lol.

PVJ yes mate take it easy. The yawning happened to all of us, that weird shaking of the muscle fibres and tendon.
Julian Mountain View CA

Hayward, CA

#387 Jan 3, 2009
Thanks Pumbertot.

Actually, for my surgery I had the doctor intentionally numb the shoulder area through a nerve on my neck. Now I think that that is the reason for not feeling too bad right after surgery, the numbness lasted for awhile. My pain level was a lot less than what I expected, compared to the pain right after the accident.

I think you are right, my nerves are starting to feel normal again and I'm experiencing the real thing. It's funny. I also started to experience the shaking of the muscle when I'm yawning. Is so weird that I try to avoid yawning. Also, when lean forward a little bit I feel tension in the muscle even though I'm not using that muscle at all....man, all these sensations are really weird.

PVJ, yes my tendon had to be reattached to the bone, as it was a complete rupture.

One other thing. Keeping the arm pit clean is a challenge, as I cannot open the arm to completely expose the arm pit. I have been using Q-tips with Purel after the shower. Any other suggestions?
pumbertot wrote:
Julian some swelling can still occur until around the 4th-6th week so I wouldnt be worrying about it just yet. The increase in pain could be due to several things like the tendon is being re-integrated and revascularized by the surrounding tissues. Also during the surgery nerves in that area are sometimes twanged and hence go numb for some time. When the numbness wears off you can feel more discomfort than before. Look my surgery was delayed 3 years so your delay is nothing at all.
lol reminds me of the Monty Python sketch
"You had it easy, when I were a lad.........."
lol.
PVJ yes mate take it easy. The yawning happened to all of us, that weird shaking of the muscle fibres and tendon.
Garrett

United States

#388 Jan 13, 2009
What's up Pumbertot? I met with Dr. Schepsis last Friday at the Boston medical center. For all those reading this that have been told by multiple surgeons that they can't help you, it is such a relief to finally hear someone say they can fix you up (without hesitation I might add). Thanks again for the Schepsis recommendation. I feel a lot better about this surgery after finally meeting him. You must have stayed in the Boston area for 1-2 weeks afterwards for all of the post op visits, right? My surgery is on Feb 5. I will let everyone know how it goes (once I can type again).
Tony

Los Angeles, CA

#389 Jan 13, 2009
Hey I just had a quick question. Ive been reading a lot of these posts since I recently tore my pec. It was a complete tear at the muscle/tendon junction, not at the bone. I had surgery to repair it on Dec 17th and am 4 weeks into my recovery. My questions is does the pec take shape right away. I think I may be being paranoid but I am hoping the surgery took. I can definately see and feel the tendon/muscle connecting all the way into the bicep like my good arm now unlike before where I could see separation. However when I flex with my hands clasped, lightly of course since its so soon after surgery, i still see some balling up or at least what appears to be balling up of the muscle. Does it just need time to stretch, reshape and flatten out again or could the surgery maybe not have taken or something along those lines. I know its hard without seeing it, and I guess I could post pictures, but I thought Id try this first. Thanks!
pumbertot wrote:
<quoted text>
Sam, to begin with that is the case untill youi have sufficient stretch in your pec tendon to safely have a heavier weight on your back. I tend to do both ranges, I train quads twice per week so 20 reppers in one session, in the other I went up to 150kg for 10 reps. I dont go heavier than that since my lower back is shot but do what works for you.
John, I have no doubt about your strength buddy. You little chunky guy that you are.:p
Im 104kg just now, but hey my legs are about 4 inches longer than yours so I need a heavier base to shift the weight. ;-)

Since: Feb 08

United States

#390 Jan 14, 2009
Tony,

I am of the opinion that it is NOT a matter of whether or not the surgery "took", as you've phrased it. While none of us here have a complete understanding of human anatomy as a surgeon would have, you need to realize that the shape of the muscle may never fully look like the un-injured side. I image that cosmetics takes the proverbial back-seat to gaining full strength, mobility, and function.

I am at 50 weeks post-op today, and I can tell you definitively that there appears to be a slight "balling up" of the left pec when I clasp my hands together, but this, as I understand it, is a result of several things:(1) scar tissue,(2) damage, and (3) atrophy.

I saw my surgeon for the last time yesterday because I was feeling some pain in the area where the anchors were drilled. The doc could not stress enough about the importance of cardio, especially swimming, and its benefits. My problem is that I packed on some muscle mass so it's making it more difficult to swim because I sink like a rock! Thankfully, I did not injure myself. I'm going to try swimming better. Yeah, a couple of laps aren't bad, but after that I start sucking wind -> not as easy as running.

Tony - get yourself into a pool as it will help with gaining full ROM better than most exercises.

Also, take it easy on the number of push-ups once you’re able to do them. I was doing far too many. The doc used the analogy of a metal clothes hanger and its reduced pliability after bending it lots of times. Well, the same thing applies to our tendons. This was something I did not think about.

John
PVJ

Washington, DC

#391 Jan 14, 2009
Hey JohnDF and Pumbertot, how are you guys? hope all's well in the land of the pec injured fellas. Anyway, tomorrow will be 13 weeks for me. Still not doing any weight exercises whatsoever, but now doing standing wall push-ups. I still run with the sling on (just paranoid, i guess) but I figured i'll wait till i'm 16 weeks out before i stop wearing it while running. John, Pum, 16 weeks is also when i'll attempt my first real push up assuming the chest/tendon feels ok. What's your opinion on that time frame? ROM is getting much better, with about 80% forward flexion, 50% abduction and 50% external rotation. Tony, my injury was kinda like yours. My operative report says that superiorly, i had muscular tendinous rupture (like yours) and distally, i had tendinous rupture (junction at the bone). Tony my injured side does not look exactly like the other side. It seems that there is some balling on the injured side. I also feel some pulling on the bicep when i flex my chest. I don't know if anyone else here has this. On the other hand, i can definitely feel and see that the pec is still anchored to the humerus when i flex. So, like John said, it probably will never be perfectly right again. But considering the alternative, i'm happy with the surgery. So, good luck to all, and Tony i work in downtown L.A. so, if you ever want to discuss or compare battle scars shoot me an email at bus_08@yahoo.con
Tony

Los Angeles, CA

#392 Jan 14, 2009
Thanks so much for your quick responses guys and putting my mind at ease.. At least a little bit haha. And PVJ ya ive got your email and will definately give you a shout. How long did you guys wait to do physical therapy. My doc sent me to start some light PT last week (3 1/2) weeks in and my shoulder was obviously tight and somewhat painful when I performed the stretches, which i expected but the chest area didnt quite feel like it was ready. How long did you wait to start PT?
PVJ

Washington, DC

#393 Jan 14, 2009
Tony, My surgeon had me wait 8 weeks before i started PT. I then went for 4 weeks and the surgeon prescribed 4 more weeks with no external rotation and abduction stretches. I guess he's not too worried about my shoulder ROM. On the other hand, my ROM is still getting much better just from natural everyday movements. I would definitely not let the PT people perform any kind of aggressive stretching. 4 weeks seems early. Or maybe i'm too conservative but i really am playing it safe. i got all the time in the world to heal, so i'm not rushing it. I don't want to be another horror story of someone re-rupturing after surgery. Reading the posts from JohnDF and Pumbertot, those guys are almost, if not back to pre-injury levels, and both guys were on the careful side. So, good luck on the recovery and remember to be better safe than sorry.

Since: Jan 09

New York City

#394 Jan 19, 2009
Pumbertot wrote:
<quoted text>
you could do although its not necessary depending on how bad the tear is. Prof Schepsis had me do a few movements on video and send to him by email. he was able to tell me exactly what type of tear I had from this video,ive never had an MRI. but if you can get one through insurance then yes go ahead and do so.
Pumbertot, I had been doing some searches on old pec tears and i was directed to this forum...I read your posts about having a 3 year old pec tear fixed by Dr. Schepis in Boston. I have a pec tear that is about 21 months old. I didn't have surgery for a few reasons but am now regretting it. I am seriously considering surgery at the moment and already know that doctors are going to say nothing can be done because the tear is too old. The tear did not come off the bone and the slight cosmetic alteration is not bothering me...its the weakness, cramping, twitching etc and just the psychological effect of knowing that im missing a tendon.

The exact tear diagnosis was "Ruptured pectoralis major tendon at musculotendinous junction affecting sternal head."

Can you please respond to me and give me some more info about Dr. Schepsis and about your before/after situation? I am in New York but if I have to go to Boston I will. Would be much appreciated.

Since: Jan 09

New York City

#395 Jan 19, 2009
Or if anyone else has an old pec tear that was surgically repaired please let me know, thanks.

I am now able to bench just about the same amount as I was before the pec tear...i have the divot of course and the torn pec is a tad bulkier than the good one but cosmetically i am not really bothered by it much at all. But now that I am active with sports again I started feeling pain in my sternum everytime I throw or punch a heavybag.

With physical therapy they are kneading down quite a bit of scar tissue through massage. but apparently my physio doctor says my rear delt area must overcompensating for the pec weakness and because of it my right scapula is extremely winged. now he has me doing serratus exercises to restore balance.

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