T Nation

Torn Pec - Help Please

so today my training partner did something stupid and as a result there was a sickening ‘pop’ and his left pec partially tore luckily there were 3 of us around the bench and took the bar off him almost immediately.

anyways his rather sore and really pissed, started to really hurt when i got to his place to drop him off. It’s still attached but looks wrong just looking at it front on in a shirt.

basically from my first aid training, i’ve got him iceing it for 15min every hour on the hour, told him to get some nurofen in him and to get to the doc tomoz.

is there anything else he can do immediately??

i mean what’s the doc going to do anyway, refer him if he needs surgery? its not gonna happen tomorrow.

has anyone else gone through this?
how did you treat it?
how long were you out?

please note he is defineatley going to the doc. i just want some preliminary help and possibly some good news (re rehab/ down time) for him in the mean time.

thanks in advance.
JC.

hey JC, I’m not nearly an expert on this issue and can’t speak from personal experience, but when I saw that there were no replies I decided to at least try to steer you in the right direction.

First, like you said, go to the doc. (until then try to keep the swelling down just like you suggested, standard RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation.)

The answer to how to treat it and how long he will be out depends on whether the tear was at the tendon attachment (he will need surgery) or within the muscle (can choose between surgery and classic rehabilitation). After he finds out what type injury he has, most of the information on recovery period and rehabilitation can be found on the net. Have him read as much as possible so he understands all his options.

If he needs/decides to have surgery I read somewhere that having the surgery within the first two weeks from the injury drastically increases your chances of returning to pre-injury levels.

There is also a lot of information here on the site, look up Dave Tate articles on benching; he had several pec tears and writes about his experience on what he did to get back.

I wish your friend a speedy recovery.

Hope this helps at least a bit.

Thanks Brus01,

yeah everytime i’ve been unfortunate enough to end up in emergency, it’s always the same, sit around for a minimum observation period, and then be told there’s nothing they can do til the swelling comes down, some times even for minor breaks (fingers).

i think i’ll get him to the hospital rather then a gp, they should have better understanding of acute injuries, at least he’s iced it so far which is half the battle.

lol, question: how do you get big tris/ arms…
dave tate: tear both pecs!!

at least his now half way to getting some decent arm developement now.

i’ve already done a general search, but i’ll have another read through the archives, but from memory i dout any of his articles address the actual injury recovery process.

thanks again. at least you’ve now confirmed what i already thought.

I’ve torn my right pec twice.

The first thing you have to figure out if it is a muscle tear or a tendon tear. If it’s a muscle tear he’s probably going to have to just back off for a week or two focusing on movements that don’t aggravate it, and then slowly start to build back pain free range of motion and strength/confidence. This should probably only take 2-3 months. The biggest risk being pushing it too hard too early and re-injuring it which sucks.

I think with a muscle tear, which by the way, will deform the pec but not to the extent a full tendon tear will (obviously), it is a big mistake not to continue some level of activity to get blood flow to the muscle. The important thing is not doing anything to re-injure or impede healing. (In other words don’t be a dumb-ass.)

If it is a tendon tear, that’s a different animal. Both times when I tore the muscle I had bruising and pain at both the pec and bi tendon insertion and some other discoloration, but the core of my pain and discomfort were in the area just inside of the shoulder on the pec.

If it is a tendon tear he will likely need an MRI to determine, unless it is obvious, the extent of tear and what is needed. For tendon tears, generally, surgery where warranted should happen pretty damn quick.

For a muscle tear I found ART to be extremely helpful. It was actually my ART guy who I consulted first and he advised it was just a muscle tear.

The ART hurt like hell but really helped get all the adhesions out of there and restore range of motion.

I would be interested to hear the outcome so please provide and update.

he got a preliminary report from the the hospital as a incomplete (muscle) bicep tear?? apparently they had a muscle specialist on duty who looked at him, said it’s ‘most likely’ the above. and that he’s very lucky that it’s not a tenden or a complete tear, but sent him off to get it referred at the local medical centre.

he’s booked in for an ultra-sound either today or tomoz, to get the full picture hopefully it’s not too bad, apprantley the bruising has come up real nice now, i’ll try get a pic when i see him today/ tomoz.

he actually felt it very slightly about 4 weeks or so ago on flat bench, took it easier for a week and kept training.