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  1. #1
    Registered User HHFSU04's Avatar
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    Possible Pec / Shoulder / Bicep Tendon Tear - Pics Attached

    Just wanted to share a few pics of an injury that happened to me on October 28th, 2008. I was on my last set of bench press (315) and on my 7th or 8th rep, my left arm gave out. Think I heard a snap, although i wasn't sure. Feels like blacked out for literally a second. Went to my ortho doc the next morning and he looked at me. Said it looked like i could have tore anything from my pec to my rotator to my bicep tendon. Had an MRI of my shoulder on November 1st, and I visit him November 6th so he can look at the results. Just curious to know if you anybody seen such bruising before and what the out come was? Such as proximal bicep tear, pec tear, etc? Any of you guys have similair injuries? Its weird because the pain isn't all that bad. I also have pretty good strength and motion in my arm, although i am not using it at all. Not looking for a diagnosis, just some advice and thoughts.

    Thanks. I am going through the doctors, but just want to be as informed as i possibly can be.
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    Dude it looks a real mess, swelling is impressive (especially on second pic!!!), rarely saw such damage.

    I have seen a lot of pecs injuries over the years on forums, but swelling wasn' t that bad and it still required surgery in most of the cases. As your swelling is massive, I think you' re in for some serious trouble as well

    So don' t be fooled by the relative lack of pain, you seriously damaged your pec and/or tendon. So now stay cool and get ready for a difficult couple of months ahead of you, I think you' ll need surgery and that is a painful process, with a sling and rehab following. But you' ll be back fully fit and with near or total strength recovery.

    You can also choose to let it heal if surgery isn' t necesseray, but you' ll then almost certainly have a permanent strength loss.

    Keep us posted and good luck
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  3. #3
    caught you mirin Devils's Avatar
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    Ahh the flat bench press, destroying peoples pectorals for many a year.

    Anyone got statistics on % of tears according to form, eg; elbows flared vs elbows tucked (45 deg).

    Looks nasty OP, good luck on your recovery.
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  4. #4
    Registered User HHFSU04's Avatar
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    Possible Pec / Shoulder / Bicep Tendon Tear - Pics Attached

    Thanks for the replies guys. I'm fearing the worse. Been lifting heavy for almost 15 years, and never even had a minor sprain / tear. He said my pec is intact (it didnt tear and have that drooping look), but i do have pain on the side of it. Again, right near the armpit. I did some reasearch and read that if i tore the short head of the bicep tendon, it can heal on its own. I will loose some strength, but may be able to avoid surgery. I guess thats assuming i didnt do other damage. I dont know. Guess i will know more very soon.
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  5. #5
    John 3:16 Geneticz's Avatar
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    I was playing basketball and I had a freak injury where I went up for a rebound and someones elbow came straight down on my bicep. I didnt hear a pop or anything but in the next week I had swelling about x2 worse then that. My entire arm looked like it was blue. It ended up just being one of the worst "contusions" you can get. Since you heard a tear or whatever it might be worse... but just letting you know dont rule out anything. One doctor told me I had a bicep tear and the other said get an MRI you definitly tore something. And about 3-4 weeks later all the swelling went away and my arm was fine. So dont rule anything out!
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    looks like a pec tear to me
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    Originally Posted by Devils View Post
    Ahh the flat bench press, destroying peoples pectorals for many a year.

    Anyone got statistics on % of tears according to form, eg; elbows flared vs elbows tucked (45 deg).

    Looks nasty OP, good luck on your recovery.
    When you say flat bench press are you talking about the standard laying on your back and benching? If so, what is a safer method? thanks
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    Registered User HHFSU04's Avatar
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    Possible Pec / Shoulder / Bicep Tendon Tear - Pics Attached

    Let me clarify. If you are using proper technique, you can avoid injury. The day this happened to me, I did incline bench first. Went as high as 385lbs. Then i went down to 315 and then a final set of 275. The i moved on to flat bar free weight bench. I went as high as 435lbs. Then started to decline in weight, 405, 365, then 315. Looking back, i think i just rushed that last set of 315. Quickly trying to throw it up, let it drop, and throw it back up. My technique was bad on that set. That coupled with the fact those weight are near my max, my muscles were probably exhausted. I've been a big bencher for 12 years, with my all time max at 525lbs. Thats steroid, hgh, etc free!!!!! That was about 4 years ago, but ive never even had a partial tear or anything. Ive always had perfect technique, and the one time i slacked, it cost me big time. Point is, use proper form, take your time with moving the weight up and down, limited the "jerking" of the weight and you should be good.
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  9. #9
    Registered User HHFSU04's Avatar
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    Possible Pec / Shoulder / Bicep Tendon Tear - Pics Attached - UPDATE!!

    Went to the doc....

    He looked at the MRI films. Basically what happened is he said I tore my pec nicely, but I didn?t tear the tendon from the bone. The pec connects to the tendon which connects to the top part of the humerus. The actual tendon didn?t tear off the bone and was intact. What happened is I tore muscle from muscle. Big time. But he said there is no way to really correct that with good result. You can?t sew muscle back to muscle because the stitching would not hold. Like trying to sew two pieces of steaks together. The stitching would just rip through the muscle. He said if I tore the tendon off the bone, the tendon is very firm and hard and he would be able to sew the tendon back to the bone no problem and it would hold easily. Compared my right pec to my left pec and said there is a slight difference, but it looks a heck of a lot better than it did when I first saw him. Said that is his personal opinion and if I want to get a second opinion he wouldn?t be offended. Plus he said the longer it heals, the more scar tissue, which would be difficult to operate on down the road anyways. Have great ROM and it feels good. He said to rest it for three months and I should be good.

    Have you guys heard of that before??? Cant sew muscle to muscle?? He is a very good doctor and I am not doubting him, but just never heard that before.

    Thanks!!!
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  10. #10
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    Thumbs down

    Dude, That looks like a bad tear. I did my hamstring a few months ago and it look the same way. Truely sucks. Take care of it and don't rush back into lifting to soon.
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    wow...that sucks man.

    did the doctor say anythign about doing any kind of exploratory surgery to remove the torn tissue? I have a friend who had part of his calf removed due to shrapnel. probably similar to this, the shrapnel severed the muscle, so the tendons at either end were just holding loose pieces of tissue. they cut those pieces of tissue out. mind you, the removal may have had to do with the fact he had ot have the shrapnel removed anyways and they figured they would clean up the wound while they were in there- i'm not sure.


    good luck
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by HHFSU04 View Post
    Went to the doc....

    He looked at the MRI films. Basically what happened is he said I tore my pec nicely, but I didn?t tear the tendon from the bone. The pec connects to the tendon which connects to the top part of the humerus. The actual tendon didn?t tear off the bone and was intact. What happened is I tore muscle from muscle. Big time. But he said there is no way to really correct that with good result. You can?t sew muscle back to muscle because the stitching would not hold. Like trying to sew two pieces of steaks together. The stitching would just rip through the muscle. He said if I tore the tendon off the bone, the tendon is very firm and hard and he would be able to sew the tendon back to the bone no problem and it would hold easily. Compared my right pec to my left pec and said there is a slight difference, but it looks a heck of a lot better than it did when I first saw him. Said that is his personal opinion and if I want to get a second opinion he wouldn?t be offended. Plus he said the longer it heals, the more scar tissue, which would be difficult to operate on down the road anyways. Have great ROM and it feels good. He said to rest it for three months and I should be good.

    Have you guys heard of that before??? Cant sew muscle to muscle?? He is a very good doctor and I am not doubting him, but just never heard that before.

    Thanks!!!
    He is correct I'm afraid, muscle fibres at notoriously bad are holding stitches. So much so that surgeons will be seriously reluctant to stitch muscle to muscle unless absolutely necessary (for example in limb saving surgery).

    It will heal by itself, possibly with a little deformity but you shouldn't have any functional defects.
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    Registered User sephiroth1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HHFSU04 View Post
    Went to the doc....

    He looked at the MRI films. Basically what happened is he said I tore my pec nicely, but I didn?t tear the tendon from the bone. The pec connects to the tendon which connects to the top part of the humerus. The actual tendon didn?t tear off the bone and was intact. What happened is I tore muscle from muscle. Big time. But he said there is no way to really correct that with good result. You can?t sew muscle back to muscle because the stitching would not hold. Like trying to sew two pieces of steaks together. The stitching would just rip through the muscle. He said if I tore the tendon off the bone, the tendon is very firm and hard and he would be able to sew the tendon back to the bone no problem and it would hold easily. Compared my right pec to my left pec and said there is a slight difference, but it looks a heck of a lot better than it did when I first saw him. Said that is his personal opinion and if I want to get a second opinion he wouldn?t be offended. Plus he said the longer it heals, the more scar tissue, which would be difficult to operate on down the road anyways. Have great ROM and it feels good. He said to rest it for three months and I should be good.

    Have you guys heard of that before??? Cant sew muscle to muscle?? He is a very good doctor and I am not doubting him, but just never heard that before.

    Thanks!!!
    So now that its been a couple years, how does it feel? Did you ever heal up properly and get back to full strength? I ask because I'm going through the same thing right now. Four weeks ago, I was doing bench, just an ordinary chest day. Cranked out 315 for 12 reps, put 405 on for a quick triple. At the bottom of the first rep, I felt this tightness and then this rubber-band-like snap. Wasn't audible; but I felt it. Went to the doc the next day. He said a mild strain of my short biceps head. Once the bruising subsided (8 days), I noticed a lump in my armpit, so I went to a sports med specialist. She said it may be fluid retention or the last bit of swelling. Scheduled another appointment five days later. The lump had disappeared, but now there is a slight difference between my right and left pec-bicep-armpit area when I contract. Its like the tendon is intact, but it somehow portrudes out farther than it should. Doc said I may have a petoralis minor tear and I am scheduled for an MRI in two days. She said if my pec minor is torn, the surgeon can fix it and I'll be good as new in 3 months. I'm still baffled as to how this even happened. 405 is heavy, but it is well within my known performance capability. My PR is 525, albeit that was four years ago and I haven't trained for power since then. I have posted two pics. The first is about 18 hours after the injury, the second is about 72 hours after the fact. That was as bad as the bruising got. Bruising pattern does not point to pec damage, but its ambiguous enough that I'm geting an MRI.
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