Torn Left Pectoral Muscle - Surgery R...

Since: May 11

San Diego, CA

#1782 May 22, 2011
I have another question regarding surgery. One of my biggest hobbies is playing classical and flamenco guitar. Does anyone have any idea how long after surgery I could get back to playing guitar? It seems like I should be able to once I am out of the sling. The demands on my pectoral for my left hand are not that high.
Matt

San Diego, CA

#1783 May 22, 2011
Ali Sid,

Talk to Jason Quevedo instead. He can get you set up with the surgery in as little as a month. I didn't really talk to his secretary, Monica Castillo, I think was her name?

I set up an initial consult and had Jason set up the surgery (a few weeks from the consult) on the same day.
Matt

San Diego, CA

#1784 May 22, 2011
I tore mine at the MT junction. 2 years until surgery. He used 2 anchors and screwed my pec muscle (the sternal head ruptured), back into the humerus.

I waited 2 years, and though it's much better than before, it's not perfect, nor could I expect it to be. There was a buildup of scar tissue which I still feel like a lump whereas before the muscle "bunched up" in the middle of my chest. There's still a small dent, though I feel the muscle and axillary fold that I didn't feel before. I think the dent will fill in too because I feel the muscle where the dent is, but it's small. I'm sure it atrophied after 2 years of no use.

Since: May 11

San Diego, CA

#1785 May 23, 2011
Matt,

Was your MT junction tear partial or full?

How much strength did you regain before you had surgery?

Has your strength improved since the surgery, assuming you had it a while ago?

Thanks.
Matt

San Diego, CA

#1786 May 23, 2011
mhughes30,

The MRI said I had a partial tear of the sternal head at the MT junction. However, the first MRI as well as the surgeon said the tear was a complete tear.

The weird thing was that I could still bench press about the same amount of weight and the only time it really bothered me was when I would do something like lift myself onto a table, etc. The quick exertion for some reason would give me a cramping/sharp pain in the pec that would last a second, but the residual pain would take a minute or so to wear off. I don't know why, but lifting weights would never really give me this sharp pain.

I can't say my strength has improved, yet. I do feel better about it and I'm sure the strength will come back, it's only been 3.5 months and my rom is about 85%

One thing I've read and was told, though is that some tears (like mine) which were pretty severe will never look exactly like pre-injury. My tear was a lot more severe than most, because I could hear a ripping noise, like a wet towel, for almost a second. I knew something bad happened, and I went into shock and had extreme pain. Some of the stories you read on here people say they hear a small pop and don't feel too much pain. In my case, I knew I fck myself up.

Also on my MRI you could clearly see a rupture in the muscle about the circumference of a golf ball, unlike some MRI where you really have to look around for the tear.

Since: May 11

Pakistan

#1787 May 23, 2011
MT junction sugeries are difficult;i guess he is good with this. The loss of strength for mt juntion tears is not much as compared to off of the bone.
Mine is upper head (clavicular) off of the bone ,and i am clearly experiencing problems at bench press and push ups..although it is improving somewhat with every passing day.

Since: May 11

Virginia Beach, VA

#1788 May 24, 2011
Matt,

That is weird about still being able to bench press. I am the opposite in that everyday stuff doesn't really bother me much (maybe a little pain sometimes), but I absolutely can't bench press. It feels like it will rip more if I do, and hurts badly with just 65 lbs.

Could you tell by examining your pec muscle yourself if the sternal head completley came off? I still feel like most of my sternal head is attached. The lower part is detached though, and seemes to have reattached in the middle of my pec. I heard a ripping noise too. Also, my tendons feel different on the injured side.

I know that some bodybuilders and powerlifters have had partial tears of the MT junction, and not had surgery. But, I can't seem to find any info on how long it took them to recover. If for example, it takes 6 months to recover without surgery, it seems like one might as well have surgery anyway. I know that 9 weeks of healing hasn't done it yet.

I also can't seem to find what the expected loss of strenght from a partial MT tear is. I saw some documents stating a 50% loss, which is somewhat unacceptable.

Ali,

Are you having surgery? How long is your waiting list?

Since: May 11

Virginia Beach, VA

#1789 May 24, 2011
Matt,

Actually, I bet since your sternal head was completely torn, you felt no pain on bench press because there was nothing attached to feel pain. Maybe your triceps and your abdominal and clavicle heads were able to compensate, making your bench press strong.

Since: May 11

Pakistan

#1790 May 24, 2011
mhughes,

i don't know --have'nt gotten a reply from his secretary. I would have to go down there myself i guess.I just wanted his opinon on a few pictures and the type of tear I have.

my tear was'nt picked by MRI which is why i missed the surgery at acute stage,a couple of docs said its nothing and got me fooled.Also the only doc who knows about this injury here is rude and condescending,he did'nt give me the option of surgery at acute stage,did'nt give enough details and then started ignoring my phone calls.

I have found a doctor here who is nice and was with the national cricket team ,he knows a lot about this injury ,but I am not sure if i wanna trust him since this is a chronic tear.
Matt

San Diego, CA

#1791 May 24, 2011
Here are 2 images from my MRI scan, you can clearly see the sternal head is ruptured.

http://imgur.com/NSofG
http://imgur.com/w4Fox

Since: May 11

Pakistan

#1792 May 25, 2011
does the tendon not retract in partial tears? if its partial tear at humeral attachment?. I don't know what this radiologist is talking about.he says retraction only happens in complete rupture.
Kim

Livermore, CA

#1793 May 25, 2011
Matt wrote:
mhughes30,
The MRI said I had a partial tear of the sternal head at the MT junction. However, the first MRI as well as the surgeon said the tear was a complete tear.
The weird thing was that I could still bench press about the same amount of weight and the only time it really bothered me was when I would do something like lift myself onto a table, etc. The quick exertion for some reason would give me a cramping/sharp pain in the pec that would last a second, but the residual pain would take a minute or so to wear off. I don't know why, but lifting weights would never really give me this sharp pain.
I can't say my strength has improved, yet. I do feel better about it and I'm sure the strength will come back, it's only been 3.5 months and my rom is about 85%
One thing I've read and was told, though is that some tears (like mine) which were pretty severe will never look exactly like pre-injury. My tear was a lot more severe than most, because I could hear a ripping noise, like a wet towel, for almost a second. I knew something bad happened, and I went into shock and had extreme pain. Some of the stories you read on here people say they hear a small pop and don't feel too much pain. In my case, I knew I fck myself up.
Also on my MRI you could clearly see a rupture in the muscle about the circumference of a golf ball, unlike some MRI where you really have to look around for the tear.
I am now approaching 3 months since I tore my sternal head at the MT junction. My experience is very similar to Matt's - for the most part it does not bother me. I have a slight dent in the side of my pec/armpit and it has bulged up some in the middle of my chest. Like Matt, certain quick exertions cause a cramp/pain that quickly goes away. Matt, did your bulge and dent get worse with time? Like you warned in an earlier post this has sure been on my mind a lot and I am second guessing my discussion not to have the surgery. I know you are still early in your recovery but do you think it was worth it?

Since: May 11

Pakistan

#1794 May 25, 2011
does anybody know of any online radiologist that you can send your scans to through email and get a report?

Since: Jan 11

Northridge, CA

#1795 May 25, 2011
Kim wrote:
<quoted text>I am now approaching 3 months since I tore my sternal head at the MT junction. My experience is very similar to Matt's - for the most part it does not bother me. I have a slight dent in the side of my pec/armpit and it has bulged up some in the middle of my chest. Like Matt, certain quick exertions cause a cramp/pain that quickly goes away. Matt, did your bulge and dent get worse with time? Like you warned in an earlier post this has sure been on my mind a lot and I am second guessing my discussion not to have the surgery. I know you are still early in your recovery but do you think it was worth it?
While surgery is nothing to take lightly I still think in the case if a pec tear its worth it. I didnt tear at the MT jxn but its been worth it for me. You will never be as strong as you were without the repair. At least with surgery you have a shot at getting it back. Im benching 140 x 8 already after 4.5 months. I will say a month of inactivity is really hard on the body though.... You atrophy quickly. The main reason I would say getnthe surgery is both gaining bacj strength as well setting yourself up to be healthier as you age. With out a repair your body will do weird things to compensate, and while it wont bother you now, it will in 10 years. Good luck.
Matt

San Diego, CA

#1796 May 25, 2011
Kim,

I'd get it done. Otherwise it will bother you for the rest of your life. It was definitely worth it for me, even 2 years post injury.
mhughes30

San Diego, CA

#1797 May 26, 2011
Ali,

There is retraction any time a muscle is torn. For instance, with my partial tear, the torn muscle retracted closer to the center of my chest. This seems to have caused one of my tendons to move a little, but not much. I think if your tendon has retracted significantly, your tendon might have torn, or you tore a large amount of muscle.

I am having my surgery for a partially torn MT junction in 2 weeks. I think it is worth it. It is impossible to regain all of your strength without it, given that the torn fibers no longer have the proper length to produce a strong force. And, it can lead to something that always feels like you will re-injure it.

Since: May 11

Pakistan

#1798 May 26, 2011
Mhughes,

interesting.a sports ortho surgeon just old me that partial tears has different meanings which can cause confusion. he said that if the tear is of clavicular head only , the tendon would not retract enough to cause degeneration of muscle. may be because clavicular head tendon is only about 1 cm of the whole tendon.

i was trying to get an answer to whether the tendon is one tissue or 3 different tissues inserting at one place.its probably just one tissue from what i understand with 3 different origins.
Dave

Thunder Bay, Canada

#1799 May 26, 2011
Tore my pec march 5 right of the bone. The surgon said major retraction of muscle and bad tear.Surgery done on May 13, I was told three anchors and sutures and a space between muscle and bone. I have been in a sling for 13 day's now and told 4 more week's. The second surgion said I will regain 60% strength if lucky. I was wondering has anyone had the same post op situation.

Since: Jan 11

Long Beach, CA

#1800 May 26, 2011
Dave wrote:
Tore my pec march 5 right of the bone. The surgon said major retraction of muscle and bad tear.Surgery done on May 13, I was told three anchors and sutures and a space between muscle and bone. I have been in a sling for 13 day's now and told 4 more week's. The second surgion said I will regain 60% strength if lucky. I was wondering has anyone had the same post op situation.
Mine surgery was similar. Not sure what you mean by "space between muscle and bone" though. Had three screws and kevlar threads. Im almost 5 months post op and building back strength etc. Not sure how strong you were before but i know its very possible to get well beyond 60% od ur strength back. Why is your surgeon telling you only 60%?
i got out of the sling after 4 weeks and if u could do it again i would only wear it for two and then just be really carefull. The frozen shoulder is worse than the repair.
Dave

Thunder Bay, Canada

#1801 May 26, 2011
Thanks... Actually there was two Dr,s so one came in first and told me there was a space and they wanted the muscle to grow back. The head Dr, Dr MacDonald just said complicated bad tear need you to stay in the sling 4 more week's and we will get you going again after that. I think I should have asked more questions.

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