T Nation

Stem Cells? Possible Pec Tear. Need Some Input


#1

About six months ago I changed my lifting goals from bodybuilding to strength, primarily to assist with my Jiu Jitsu training. I am also on TRT 200mg test cup weekly (100mg. every 3.5 days).
I weigh 175lbs with a pretty low body fat percentage, 10-12%. 5’5" tall.
Bench press day. We were doing a pyramid type workout, started at 40% of 1RM working our way up to 100%, foolish I now know. I was under the bar for my max, 305, and everything was goin well until I started to move the weight upwards. I usually use a pretty wide grip on the bar (again from what I was taught about bodybuilding, right or wrong isn’t the issue here). As I contracted to push the weight I felt/heard a pretty significant pop or thunk between my chest wall and shoulder, almost like the front of the arm pit.
Dropped weight, thank God for spotter, immediately put ice on it with anti-inflammatories. It hurt, I wouldn’t call it a 10 but maybe a 7, but I had full range of motion with minimal discomfort comparatively.
It did not bruise at all for 5 days and when it did the coloring was really minor (no pics sorry), nothing like what I’ve seen on here.
After a week I was able to see my GP. He said that I did tear something, but it was pretty minor and an MRI was a waste of money, prescribed rest and ultrasound therapy. At the time of the appointment there was still some pretty good swelling.
I’m 3.5 weeks post injury and I now have a deformity on my right pec, but strength is improving and pain is gone unless I do something stupid, even the the pain is at the front of the shoulder down the short head of the bicep.
I’m 35 and not sure if I should push the surgery issue or not.
Thanks in advance,
Mike


#2

Having torn both pecs at one time or another and having strained one yesterday - here are my experiences.

If the tear is in the muscle belly, there is no surgery that can be done. Think of sewing two steaks together. Not very strong. If the tendon detached from the bone, that is a surgical repair as the muscle just lost it’s anchor to the bone. It sounds like you have a muscle belly tear as you would have significant strength loss if your tendon went and the muscle would ball up towards the side still attached.

All mine have been muscle belly tears and I have deformation. It doesn’t bother me because I am not a bodybuilder I have also torn my left bicep muscle belly. It is also deformed but again I don’t care. I have never detached a tendon.

You need to seek out soft tissue remedies such as ART, massage, Graston, etc. There is nothing you can do about the appearance of the muscle now. The soft tissue work will speed healing and prevent/lessen/get rid of scar tissue that will form.

When the bruising came out, it was likely purple/yellow which indicates an older injury. It took time for it to surface, hence it’s coloration.

Take it easy on the weights (as in go light for a while). Gently stretch and get soft tissue modalities done and go on with life.

If hotlinking isn’t allowed, search for “Starr rehab protocol.”


#3

I appreciate it. Thankfully I have been following a rehab protocol very similar to the one outlined in the article you provided. I’m able to do 20+ push-ups and okay strength on overhead presses. It sounds like I will just have to live with the deformity. My main concern in ROM ( which is awesome, I am able to grab a wooden dowel with both hands and rotate overhead and down to my lower back.) and strength.
Mike


#4

Even when I let time heal my injury, I never lost range of motion in the long run. It sounds like you are well on your way to 100% minus the deformation. I’d look at it like a battle scar, you earned it doing something you enjoy.


#5

Got a second opinion from a sports med Dr. He agreed with my GP that surgery was not necessary and to continue rehabbing using the template outlined above, but he did offer to write me a referral to get a stem cell injection as he believes that 1)full strength recovery and 2) deformity correction.
Wanted to pick your brains about it.
Thanks again,
Mike