In light of Stephon Tuitt's season-ending pectoral muscle injury, we asked Dr. Obi Anozie for some more insight on the nature of such an injury, and what would be the likely recovery time Tuitt's return.
Q:) What is the importance of pectoral muscles and what would cause it during the course of a physical sport like football?
Dr. Obi Anozie:
The pectoralis muscles are easily among the most powerful and significant muscles, from an athlete's standpoint, of the upper body. Their functions are essentially to attach and provide support to the muscles of the upper limb affording them stability, versatility and power.
Injuries to the pectoralis muscles are occurring relatively infrequently, however football players, particularly, lineman are highly susceptible to the injury.
Offensive lineman uses the pectoralis muscles to exert great external forces to opposing lineman in order to either protect the quarterback or open running lanes while defensive lineman apply a similar external force to penetrate through the offensive line in order to attack the opposing backfield. When the applied force exceeds demand, physics takes over and the whole system fails.
Q:) What would be the time frame for recovery/rehab after surgery?
Dr. Obi Anozie:
Injury time varies depending on the amount of muscle torn and treatment can range from rehabilitation to surgery. You're looking at a 4-6 month recovery time in most cases where surgical repair is required.
*Dr. Obi Anozie is a Physician in Macon, Georgia. Dr. Anozie studied at St. George's University School of Medicine, and was a resident physician at Upstate Medical University.