Dr. Anthony Schepsis Discusses Pectoralis Major Ruptures

The pectoralis major is a powerful chest muscle that attaches to the humerus bone and is responsible for moving the shoulder and arm across the chest. It consists of two portions, the sternal head and clavicular head. Tears or ruptures of this muscle most commonly occur from the bench press, and the tear usually occurs at the attachment site on the humerus or at the junction between the muscle and tendon, close to the bone. It can occur also in the muscle belly or at the attachment to the sternum, but much less commonly.

With an increased popularity of power lifting and intensive weight training, these injuries have become increasingly common. They only occur in males. The tear can involve the whole muscle or in some cases, just the sternal head, and typically bruising and swelling will be seen on the outside or lateral part of the chest wall, extending down the arm.

A deformity is quickly evident, with the muscle “balling up” when contracted. In active males, surgical repair is usually necessary to restore strength, function, and a normal cosmetic appearance. Ideally, these should be repaired in the first couple of weeks, however they are often missed, and we have reported on techniques as well as results of repair in not only acute, but chronic cases, often times many years later.

The author has developed a technique for repair that has a very high success rate, as well as a technique to reconstruct or make a new tendon in long standing, neglected cases. He has trained a number of other surgeons in this technique as well, having reconstructed over 100 of these injuries.

About the Author:
Involved in sports medicine, Dr. Anthony Schepsis possesses significant experience in pectoralis major ruptures. Tending to patients from around the world, Dr. Schepsis has produced pieces on the condition for the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Audio Digest in Orthopedics, and the Boston Shoulder Symposium.

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