Repair of pectoralis major ruptures: single-surgeon case series

Orthopedics. 2012 Aug 1;35(8):e1184-90. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20120725-17.


Rupture of the pectoralis major is an uncommon injury that can lead to pain, loss of strength, and cosmetic deformity. The purpose of this study was to analyze the outcome of pectoralis major repairs by a single surgeon. Twenty-four patients who underwent pectoralis major repair by the senior author (M.D.L.) between May 2005 and March 2011 were retrospectively identified. Patients were assessed at least 6 months postoperatively with the use of various questionnaires, including the Penn Shoulder Score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form, and Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE). All patients were men with an injury to the sternal head of the pectoralis. Most (16/24; 67%) patients sustained the injury while bench or incline bench pressing. Nineteen (79%) patients were successfully contacted for follow-up. Of these, an average preinjury bench press of 318 lb (range, 145-525 lb) was restored to an average of 264 lb (range, 100-500 lb) at follow-up. Average preoperative Penn Shoulder Score was 60 points (range, 33-77 points), improving to 94 points (range, 64-100 points) at last follow-up (P=.011). Average postoperative ASES and SANE scores were 96 points (range, 60-100 points) and 93 points (range, 50-100 points), respectively. All but 1 patient were rated excellent (14/19; 74%) or good (4/19; 21%) by the Bak criteria. Operative treatment of pectoralis major rupture yields high patient satisfaction and allows predictable return of comfort, range of motion, cosmesis, and overall limb strength, with a slightly less predictable return of maximum bench press strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pectoralis Muscles / injuries*
  • Pectoralis Muscles / surgery*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult