We retrospectively studied 17 cases of distal pectoralis major muscle rupture to compare the results of repair in acute and chronic injuries and to compare operative and nonoperative treatment. Thirteen patients underwent surgery (six acute injuries [less than 2 weeks after injury] and seven chronic injuries) and four had nonoperative management. The mean age of the patients at injury was 29, and 10 of the 17 injuries were the result of weight lifting. Follow-up ranged from 18 months to 6 years (mean, 28 months). All patients subjectively rated strength, pain, motion, function with strenuous sporting activities, cosmesis, and overall satisfaction. Objectively, patients were examined for range of motion, deformity, atrophy, and strength. Isokinetic strength testing was performed in eight patients: six treated operatively (three acute and three chronic) and two treated nonoperatively. Overall subjective ratings were 96% in the acute group, 93% in the chronic group, and only 51% in the nonoperative group. Isokinetic testing showed that patients operated on for acute injuries had the highest adduction strength (102% of the opposite side) compared with patients with chronic injuries (94%) or nonoperative treatment (71%). There were no statistically significant subjective or objective differences in outcome between the patients treated operatively for acute or chronic injuries, but these patients fared significantly better than patients treated nonoperatively.

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