Pectoralis Major Repair


  • The pec major muscle avulses from its insertion on the Humerus (arm) bone.


  • Usually results from a sudden strain to the muscle as the upper arm is forced backwards eg. Heavy lifting, tackle situation.


  • Pain is felt in the front of the shoulder
  • With “hands on hips” there is an obvious asymmetry between the shape of the axilla.
  • X-rays are usually normal.
  • An MRI or Ultrasound can help confirm the diagnosis.


  • Surgical, General Anaesthetic
  • Day Stay surgery or overnight stay.
  • The muscle needs to be reattached to the humerus.
  • This can usually be achieved with a row of suture anchors that tap into the bone and secure the muscle tendon back to its insertion.
  • Occasionally in chronic tears, a hamstring graft is required to bridge the gap.

Potential Complications

  • Infection, haematoma, neurovascular injury
  • Stiffness to shoulder
  • Rerupture of repair.

Post-Operative Care

  • Patient to remain in polysling for six weeks
  • Come out of sling for elbow extension and gentle pendulum exercises.
  • External rotation to neutral.
  • From six weeks to three months.
  • Out of sling; work at gradually increasing external rotation
  • From three months
  • Start strengthening exercises.
University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs NZOA  University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs