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A torn pec muscle is a serious injury that impacts a variety of people. It’s a condition that requires surgery, therapy, and time, to put a patient back together.
It’s a dramatic injury taking athletes out of the game with a single move. But orthopedic surgeons are helping patients regain full use of their damaged pec muscles.
Oscar Puerto is passionate about staying in shape. The high school football standout and former boxer had been on an aggressive weight lifting program to build body mass. Six months ago, it caught up with him during a bench press.
Puerto said, “I’m on my last set, and I feel my shoulder telling me, I should stop now. I didn’t listen. I thought I had one more in me.”
Puerto felt sudden pain, and lost control of his arm. He had no idea he had torn his pectoral muscle, the large muscle that goes from the chest wall through the arm.
John-Paul Rue, MD, Mercy Medical Center: “It tears off and they feel a pop and they have severe bruising and swelling. Then they have a deformity because the muscle tendon unit has pulled off.”
Doctor Rue is an Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in sports injuries. To fix the deformity Rue made an incision in the chest wall and stretched the muscles back into place, anchoring them to the bone.
Rue said, “They should return to full functionality 100 percent within six months.”
Eager to get back into shape, oscar started back too early, and developed a hematoma that created a crater-like hole and required another surgery.
This time, he’s following doctor’s orders, doing nightly exercises to improve his range of motion. He’s looking forward to going back to the gym when his body’s ready.”
In addition to athletes, doctor rue treats military servicemen at walter reed medical center. He says the pec tear is now one of the top three non-battle injuries that requires surgery. Doctor Rue says many servicemen, especially those stationed overseas are using their downtime to stay in top shape and may be overtraining.