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I've posted several times over the years, and I think I've finally gotten the answer to what the problem is, at least in my case. When the sternum is cut, bones, nerves, and muscles are involved. As one ages, arthritis sets in, and like other skeletal structures, I think the sternum and the rib cage (bone) are also affected. This causes these sensitive areas to respond to cold, pressure, stretching, and even gas pains. I am currently going for physical therapy for failure to treat the repair of a two torn rotater cuffs. At first, some of the exercises for my shoulder irritated my chest and caused the same painful symptoms in my chest that I've felt since my cardiac surgery sixteen years ago.

Then I began to notice something. The more therapy I had for my shoulder which had also developed arthritis and "froze," the less discomfort I felt with my chest. So, I've concluded that the pain in my chest is due to costochondritis which is an inflammation of the chest wall that may result from arthritis of the rib cage, etc. I'm told to take the same anti-inflammatory medication for my shoulder as I was told to take for my chest pain. However, exercises to address the arthritic status of the ribs and sternum may be beneficial as well, since it's doing a great deal to address my chest wall issues during physical therapy. By stretching the chest wall muscles, I might be "unfreezing" the sternum and surrounding structures.

Just a few musings from a retired nurse that may have some validity and worth checking with your doctor.
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Have they got any results from the Heart Surgery study Please let me know 

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Has anyone had bypass surgery as young as me 32?? I'm coping but so many questions
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OMG. Yes. It has now affected my shoulder and neck which causes neck to be stiff and daily headaches. Bend down or stand up pain in top chest and shoulder blade. Just getting worse and worse. Doctor so not listening. Don't know where this is heading. Feel like I need to be reopened and repaired. I certainly am in fear of that.
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I had bypass in 2005 and then 2 years later started getting stabbing chest pains on left side. Went to ER and upon doing an xray, they found the sternum wire had broken and was stabbing me in the breast. Was sent to a thoracic surgeon who removed the wire, but failed to re-enforce the sternum in any way. The bone being weakened by the bypass surgery has given me so many bouts of costochondritis I've lost count. Weather changes and any upper body exercise or usage in just general housework give me pain so bad it literally makes me ill. Just last week I ended up in the ER with what I thought was a heart attack, had the whole works including the Lexi medical stress test, all of which I passed with flying colors. Reason was the pain was so bad, had worked myself into a full blown panic attack, which mimics a heart attack to a T. Good news is, the Cardiologist assigned to me is fantastic and assures me he can rid me of this pain. I have an appt. with him next week and we shall see what he has in mind. No one understands how bad this pain can be and can't live my life like I was a 3rd base bag, just laying there, but can't do anything during the extreme flareups. So hopefully I can soon report positive results. Hang in there all, there's hope yet.
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Yes, I am having chest pain and it is not heart related. But I believe it is related to the open heart surgery of 5 years ago. And yes it feels the same as right after the surgery.
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My first surgery was open heart in 2012. That led to a incisional hernia 5 months later.had chest pain for another year or so. Complained constantly about pain. Sent to inflectional doc. He ordered a cat scan. That showed a non union sternum and Merser,witch can only gotten in hospital.hospital stay for 32 days ,mercer healed ,they used pectoral muscles to hold my chest together.that was inOctober of 2013 . I still have pain when coughing or his cups. My upper body strength is weakened due to pec muscles being moved over chest. Keep complaining about pain and explore all options .remember the reason they call doctors offices a practice. Have faith In them and God.
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Same with me after 4 yrs.my scar keeps bruises on it and stays sore.my drs. Say probaly adhesions, also my chest has been sore for about 3 weeks , was told probaly adhesions. At present have pain in both breast, am a 74 year old woman.
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I had open heart surgery due a tumour in heart.  I progressed as you would expect having been though this also and some good days and some bad.  What shocked me was that certain actions can casue pain in the length of my sternum.  I know it is not my heart but find this upsetting as did not expect it.  I am female and I was 61 when i had the surgery.  I try to lead an active life but every so often it is like someone let the air out of me and I am just so weary.  apart from that I seem fine although my heart rate is now too fast and needs medicated.

It is a relief to know I am not alone - thank you

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yes, exactly 5 years for me and I have continous left side chest wall and rib pain when I breath deep, also feels like I have a rock inside my left chest. exercise does make it much worse. So what have you done? My Dr.'s say "hope it's not too bad" "try to get used to it" "nothing I can do"
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Had Quad bypass in 96. My sternum pain started in 2000. has gotten slowly worse each year. This year is the worst after doing a lot of physical work this summer. Just walking on pavement, I can feel the jarring in my sternum which leads to pain. Cold temps, humidity, and having a cold intensify the pain. I plan on getting checked out and find out what is going on and what i can do about it. I cannot imagine living like this for the rest of my life. I wonder how many are out there with the same problem.------later---ED
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I'm experiencing the same thing since my surgery. Cat Scan shows no healing the bones did not knit. I'm having surgery to have steel plates screwed to the rib cage to eliminate the movement. I hope the pain ends along with it.You should be able to have this done also
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5 years after my open heart I still have pain..I can just tap the scar and bad pain..if anyone can help I would appreciate it. .jeff
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Mine was 5 yrs ago,still have pain in chest,plus both breast hurt and swell
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Hi, about the vision problem you experienced, it sounds like you might have experienced a scintillating scotoma, a phenomenon sometimes associated with migraines. This can happen without experiencing a headache. I used to have them a lot before my heart surgery, then after I was fixed, they slowly went away. Look it up! Scintillating scotoma. While I was taking metoprolol (bp med), they would go away completely, but I would suffer from them when I didn't take the beta blocker drug. Beta blocker drugs are known to help with diminishing the incidence of migraines.
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