T Nation

Crap! Tore a Pec


Well I finally went to the doc the other day to look at my "shoulder". Fell off the cycle back in July and things got slowly better and then not....

Tore a pec, right where it joins at the armpit. Which in turn is irritating the rotator. Pec can't be fixed. Rotator will be fine. (Can't even throw right now.)

Doc says no more heavy benching. 50-60% of max only. DAMMIT! He also says that deadlifting will sooner or later cause a back injury. Ignoring that. Waking up could cause death that day too. Have decided to go ahead and still compete. My squat and DL are doing fine. Just did 400 for a set of 5 reps yesterday on the squat and I have a love for the iron. I'm willing to do what it takes as far as the bench. I had it back up to 250, but probably will start with like 185 in competition. I don't want to blow it out and not be able to do anything.

Also gonna stay off the regular BB bench's and use Push presses and machines and DB's for a while.

Maybe in a year or two, have the dude test my strength somehow and see if I've built up the supporting tissue enough to withstand a heavy bench effort 3-4 times a year.

I figure it ain't gonna happen if I don't try.

Any comments or anything?


I don't know enough to say anything useful.

If your doctor isn't one, maybe get a referral to a sports injury specialist who might know more about rehabbing you?

Anyway, sounds like you have a good attitude about it... I'll be waiting to hear good things down the road.


Definitely take the time to get second and third opinions. Go to sports doctor/orthopedic surgeon.


Seems very odd that it cant be fixed with surgery. Nature of the tear perhaps?
I would definately get a second opinion.
My workout partner tore his pec, had surgery and was back to 100% strength after about 4 months.


Ah.. I've had a nagging injury in the same place. How'd you do it?

Best of luck to you; Just be persistent about staying away from those upper-body movements. I'm sure you'll be back to 100%.


See if TC will talk to you about it, or at least search the back threads. I remember he tore a pec benching and had all his med shit (xrays and stuff) up on the board. He did a whole article about it. As I recall he seemed pretty down about the whole prognosis at first and then progressively more upbeat. I been here a long time, this was a pretty long time ago.


Thanks Guys! It means a lot.

I did this falling off my cycle. I went to watch my daughter play volleyball, had my mind elsewhere and forgot to put the kickstand down. Bam, slammed the shoulder into the parked car next to me. I'm sure it was extremely graceful.

The doc I went to is a sports med/orthopaedic surgeon. In fact the guy used to play DE for Nebraska. Kind of wigged me out when he told me that about deadlifting.

The tear is right where the pec attaches itself at the armpit. the x-rays didn't show anything, but there are obvious signs. (I'm not symmetrical anymore. ha. If I flex my chest muscles, it kind of caves in right there.)

These guys are supposed to be the shiznet here. I'm supposed to see him again in 5 weeks. Maybe time for a cortisone shot then. I'm leery about that too, cause why have one, if I'm not gonna go bench heavy after that? It really doesn't give me all that much pain. Do you think a bench shirt would take some of the "pressure" off that area?

Was that article by TC on here and searchable?


Yes the article was here but a few "incarnations" ago. If all the articles back to the birth of T-Nation are archived then you should be able to find it.


Yes, I tore my pec mid-muscle.

Repairing it was problematic and iffy. I chose not to try it (it would have involved being in what was essentially a body cast for 6 weeks, and even then the chances of fixing it were slim).

However, in your case, a repair should be possible since the tear is near the tendon.

The longer you wait, though, the more problematic it becomes.

I also think you should see someone else.

(The first doctor I saw merely told me to take aspirin and not lift heavy for 2 weeks, despite having suffered a total tear that led to so much blood loss that I nearly needed a transfusion!)


Thanks TC! I'm gonna ask around the gym and see if I can come up with some other recommendations for someone to see. I'd rather get it fixed and take a while to fully recover than have to "give up" all together. (benching)


Called em back and got the medical lingo for it.

Muscular Tendonosis Junction partial tear. Rotator Cuff Tendonitis.


Hey man,

I suffered a pec tear at muscle tendon junction a year ago. i had surgery the day after i tore it, well the surgery failed, that kinda tear is hard to repair. well for a year i have been searching for a dr that was skilled enough to fix this pec of mine, and last wednesday i found a dr and had the surgery and it was a success.

i know how you feel about your tear so i wantd to pass the dr's name on to you in hopes maybe he can help you, this dr is the best in the usa. he has people coming to him from all over the world, he uses graft material if necessary to fix these types of tears, i was given his name from a Dr kevin Tetsworth, he did Kevin Levrone's pec tear. he practices in australia now, but gave me the dr's name and told me he was the best.

Here is the link to the dr's info http://www.dukehealth.org/...5256DFD006A9302 his name is CARL J. BASAMANIA, MD he pratacices at duke,, in north carolina, basamania said he has fixed pecs even up to 5 years after they have been torn. he was able to fix mine when 5 other dr's told me it was hopeless, said my pec exploded and nobody could fix it.

Basamania said he loves doing these types of repairs, he is very nice and understanding. i dont know your situation now or evn if you are interested, but i wanted to tell you about him, cuz i know how you feel and it not a good feeling to have.. let me know if i can give you any more info.

take care




From his bio:

M.D., George Washington University, 1984
Orthopaedics, Madigan Army Medical Center, Washington, 1984-91
Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, 1993-94

Clinical Interests:
Complex and revision surgery of the shoulder with emphasis on shoulder replacement, tendon repairs and trauma, specific interest in clavicle fractures, shoulder replacement in patients with massive rotator cuff injuries and arthritis, acromioclavicular (shoulder) separations, avascular necrosis of the shoulder and chronic tendon ruptures including the use of soft tissue substitutes and augmentation for repair

This guy should advertise on BodyBuilding forums. But then he'd probably never get any rest.


I had my pec repair done at Temple Sports Medicine in Phila, Pa.

I had pec tear about eight years ago now. It was a full tear of the Pectoralus Major at the tendon that connects to the humorus (upper arm). And, at the time was lucky to find a doc who had some experience.

If you are interested, I can share more detail of my positive experience and the doc who I owe for it.


That would be super! And a big thanks you to all who have responded and PM'ed me! You guys are great and one of the reasons I enjoy PL'ing so much. Its full of great folks.


Hope all goes well.

Happened to a friend of mine when he was going for a 1RM. Black and blue, tore away from the corner of his chest, ugly!

He waited too long to check it out, and it ended up never being able to be fixed.

Either way, I hope it works out for you.


Thank you.

When mine bruised I saw all kinds of pretty colors running down my arm. Green, Purple, black, blue. Twas wild.


mine brusied all the way down my lat to my waist, whole bicep, shoulder and of course chest.. took a while for it to clear up


I tore mine back in July 2005. I had surgery 7 days after I tore it. My pec tore comepletely from the bone. I was maxing 355 at the time and I am just now able to do around 205. Sucks, but I have to listen to my body.