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Rupture of the Pectoralis Major Muscle in a Paratrooper

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Komurcu M, Yildiz Y, Ozdemi˙r MT, Erler K. Rupture of the pectoralis major muscle in a paratrooper. Aviat Space Environ Med 2004; 75:81–4.

Rupture of the pectoralis major muscle is a very rare injury. Excessive contraction of muscle fibers during certain forms of sports, such as weightlifting and bench pressing, is the most common cause. Among the 150 reported cases in the literature, in only 1 case did the injury happen during the landing phase of parachuting. Here we report a case of pectoralis major muscle rupture caused by a different mechanism than published previously. A paratrooper was injured during a tactical jump out of an aircraft after becoming entangled with the risers. The mechanism of injury was excessive traction and malpositioning of his shoulder when the parachute deployed. A three-phase conservative treatment regimen was performed and results were assessed by dynamometry. The patient was satisfied with the treatment and the dynamometric results were good at 9 mo after injury and at the end of a 20-mo follow-up period. We suggest that three-phase rehabilitation can be an effective treatment option for pectoralis major muscle rupture in selected patients. Prevention of this type of altitude injury would be possible by applying the fundamentals of parachuting.

Keywords: muscle injury; parachuting

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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