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Case report
Pectoralis major tear in a 23-year-old woman while performing high-intensity interval training: a rare presentation
  1. Andrew Sephien1,2,
  2. Jeffrey Orr1 and
  3. D Trey Remaley1
  1. 1Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fl, USA
  2. 2USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fl, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr D Trey Remaley; dremaley{at}


Pectoralis major (PM) tears are a rare injury, that commonly occurs at the sternocostal head and has a greater incidence in men, with only two previously reported cases in young and middle-aged women. The authors report a complete PM tear that occurred in a 23-year-old woman, that presented after performing a ‘muscle-up’. MRI revealed PM rupture at the humeral insertion. Surgical management was performed, and patient returned to high-intensity interval training at 11 months postoperatively and reported great satisfaction. This is the first case in literature that reports a complete tear of the PM in a young woman through an atraumatic mechanism of injury with no previous alteration to the PM. With a cultural increase in wellness, atraumatic PM tear in young women should be expected and remain on the differential for any athlete that participates in high-intensity interval training.

  • musculoskeletal and joint disorders
  • orthopaedics
  • sports and exercise medicine
  • tendon rupture

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  • Contributors AS, JO and DTR have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. They took part in drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. They made final approval of the version published. They agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.