Pec Tendon Tear Treatment in Kirkland, WA

As a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Camille Clinton delivers state-of-the-art treatment to patients throughout the Seattle area experiencing pec tendon tears.  Dr. Clinton is dedicated to providing patient-centered care and takes the time to discuss all treatment options in an effort to preserve and improve patient lifestyles.

As a former athlete herself, Dr. Clinton understands the desire to return to the sports and activities you love and utilizes an individualized approach to ensure optimal care and results.  Call (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment at our orthopedic surgery office in Kirkland, WA today!

What is Your Pec Tendon?

The pectoralis muscles, commonly called “pecs” are large, powerful muscles in the front of the chest wall.

The pectoralis tendon connects the pectoralis muscle from the center of the chest to your collar bone and upper arm bone.

What is a Pec Tendon Tear?

A pec tendon tear is often seen in sports-related activities, most common among weightlifters. Tendon tears occur when the force applied to the muscle surpasses the strength of its attachment to the bone.

Pectoralis Major Anatomy

Who is at Risk for a Pec Tendon Tear?

Common risk factors for a pec tendon tear include:

  • Athletes
  • Those involved in heavy weight training
  • Those who routinely perform bench press
  • Any activity where the total length of the muscle increases as tension is produced
  • Injuries typically occur in men aged 20 to 40

What Can Cause a Pec Tendon Tear?

Pec tendon tears are relatively uncommon and occur mostly in males. They occur most frequently with bench pressing, but can also occur during sports such as skiing, football and rugby.

Pec Tendon Tear Symptoms

There is usually pain and bruising on the anterior chest and often there is a difference in the muscle contour of the anterior chest. Tears can be partial or complete.

The injury can result in:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Pain in the upper arm
  • Weakness
  • Deformity of the chest and upper arm
  • The muscle bulk and shape on the chest wall is visibly different on the injured side compared with the normal side
  • Pain when attempting to internally rotate and pull the arm to the side

How to Confirm a Pec Tendon Tear?

If you suspect you have a pec tendon tear, Dr. Camille Clinton will do a thorough physical examination and try to ease the pain as soon as possible. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound imaging can also help Dr. Clinton to see the tear of the tendon clearly before treatment.

Pec Tendon Tear Treatment

Complete pec tears are usually treated with surgery. A small incision is made and the tendon end is repaired back to the bone. A sling is then worn while the tendon heals and rehabilitation is started. It takes 4-6 months for healing.

How is Pec Tendon Surgery Performed?

Surgical treatment involves:

  • First, an incision centered between the pectoralis major muscle and the deltoid muscles of the shoulder
  • Next, the tendon can be reattached to the bone by a variety of techniques
  • Occasionally, a tendon transplant is required to complete the repair, typically when the injury is chronic

Our surgeons are highly trained in the latest advancements and surgical techniques for repair. Depending on the seriousness of the tear will decide the surgical technique performed. Type 1 and 2 pectoralis tendon tears are most common and are often repairable.

With our expertise, you can trust that you will return to full strength following surgery.

What Happens After Surgery?

After surgery you can expect:

  • To wear a sling for three to six weeks to keep your muscle immobile
  • To start gentle pendulum exercises
  • Possible consultation with a physical therapist to guide in strength training
  • A slow, gradual increase in exercise
  • Weight lifting is typically allowed at four months
  • Return to competitive activity after six months


Schedule a Consultation for Pec Tendon Tear Treatment

Dr. Camille Clinton is a fellowship-trained board-certified orthopedic surgeon that specializes in sports medicine.  As a former athlete, she knows how important it is to ensure a safe and timely return to play. Call (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clinton today!

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