This is an uncommon shoulder injury seen predominantly in men. It usually occurs during weightlifting although occasionally can happen in football and mixed-martial arts. It occurs as a sudden pain across the front of the shoulder and chest usually when unsuccessfully trying to bench-press either an unusually heavy weight (“maxing out”) or with a high-intensity to-failure regimen.
These injuries are commonly missed even on MRI, so if you feel you’ve sustained such an injury, it is important to see a specialist quickly. Loss of pectoralis strength will happen on a permanent basis unless these injuries are repaired. While these injuries can be surgically corrected in chronic situations, the outcomes are generally better if these are repaired within the first 4 weeks. Surgical repair is performed as an outpatient surgery and requires the use of a sling for the first 4 weeks after surgery.
This is an injury MCO physicians see regularly as they are frequently asked to see these unusual injuries by other surgeons and they have significant expertise in their treatment and repair.