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Rehabilitation

Is there any treatment for pectoral aplasia?

02/16/2009

Question:

I am a 17-year-old male with aplasia of the pectoralis major on the right side. The aplasia affects only the sternal section because the pectoralis at the top of the chest by the clavicle seems to be present (my doctor told me I have pectoral aplasia, but did not say if it was the whole pectoralis major or not). This aplasia, I think, has also led to my sternum being uneven with the left side (where the muscle is present) sticking out further than the right.

I realize that my other muscles compensate in strength for the absent one and that I have no physical limitations, but that still leaves me looking very odd and it really makes me feel inferior -- especially when going shirtless in public. Swimming with friends is an example where I feel very uncomfortable because my other male friends are very developed at this point with broad, muscular chests and I have an embarrassing deformity.

Is there ANYTHING that can be done to make the pectoralis appear and feel normal? Also, is there any sort of regenerative medicine that could help? I know that growing individual body parts from stem cells can be done and I was wondering if that could be a possible option.

Answer:

If there is some muscle fiber in that pectoralis, therapy can help you safely build strength and bulk of the remaining fibers.  If there are no fibers there, then a cosmetic implant can be inserted to make your chest appear more symmetrical.

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Response by:

Tammy S Wadsworth, PT MS OCS Tammy S Wadsworth, PT MS OCS
Sports Medicine Team Member
Clinical Instructor at The School of Allied Medical Professions
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University