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Why do I have pain in my chest bone after heart surgery?

Q: My wife underwent an open heart surgery and the aortic valve was replaced and a tissue valve of life sciences laboratories was implanted last year. My wife used Warfarin for 6 months. Now she is using Eziday. She has pain in her chest bone and where the surgical cut was made. She also feels pain in the shoulder joints and muscles below the shoulders. How can she get relief from this?

A:Some times, because of delayed wound healing as also because of fractures that may occur in the ribs and the rib cage during open heart surgery, minor arches and pains originating from muscle and bones may last for a long period of time. Usually they are not serious and therefore reassurance is the most important thing. However, a definitive opinion can only be given after examining the patient, because if a sternal wire is creating any problem then one can remove the sternal wire. Also, one should try not keep feeling breast bone and not keep rubbing the incision site as the inflamed and sensitive nerve endings get quite painful and touching them may make the pain worse. Sometimes use of a chest binder or corset may be useful. Other complex measures of managing pain related to incision or surgery like revision of the incision or local steroid therapy, acupressure, acupuncture & transdermal nerve stimulation and many such measures may be rarely required but such advice can only be given after a detailed consultation.

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