breastbone clicking 16 mths on from s... - British Heart Fou...

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breastbone clicking 16 mths on from surgery

Eliza-J profile image

Hi Im new here. I had open heart surgery 16 mths ago and all has been good in my recovery, until the last month. I was unloading some heavy bags and flight cases out of a car and ever since then, I have noticed I have a clicking sound in my chest that is really quite a loud popping noise sometimes. I have just seen my surgeon and he has told me that my breastbone is definitely clicking and a little unstable and that I must take it easy for the next three months and not do any exercise that opens up the chest area too much, so that it gives it time to heal again. Has anyone else had this happen a year on from surgery? I need some reassurance that it will heal and I can finally get back to normal exercise again!!

4 Replies

I would hazard a guess that this is too technical a question, for as I always say, this is your body, your heart and we are all different. However, it does not take a doctor to diagnose that your sternum has not made a full recovery and the exercise you have done has separated the original cut. Since it is "MY" belief that the sternum is stitched and held together with wire, the specialist is not too concerned since unless the wire has broken, which is almost unbelievable, it is just the bone that has in fact cracked causing this click when you move. I would certainly not risk lifting anything heavy for as long as I felt vulnerable. Plus we are talking about the stress on your heart - You really must do as he recommends and rest and nothing other that the sort of cardiac rehabilitation exercises. That's "MY" untrained view, based upon what you say.

Eliza-J profile image
Eliza-J in reply to

THanks for your reply ticking-ticker. There is one thing Ive learnt on my recovery journey as you say, is that we are all individuals and we all heal differently. Unfortuntately the medical professsion can only go by averages and give out average templates and so its difficult to judge. I was told after 6 mths that I am a perfectly fit and healthy 54 yr old jus the same as everyone else and that I should live my life as any normal person should. I was not told that I couldnt lift anything heavy. Anyway, i guess Ive learnt and I wont be lifting anything heavy ever again, even if its in 5 yrs time!!

in reply to Eliza-J

Hello again, thanks for the reply, however I did not say not to lift anything heavy ever again - I said "as long as I felt vulnerable" I am 67 and reasonably fit. 3 days ago I was assisting in lopping some tall trees and cutting them up. Half way through, my breath began to labour (above the 13 effort on the rehab scale so I stopped and regained my composure and rent back and did a different job - however, all the time I was viewing it as cardio exercise. Perhaps I should have said know your own limits and work within them. The baggage you lifted out of the car, after a long flight and nice holiday I expect, were just too much - so it's a learning curve - again.

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Sorry to hear about your setback. I was hoping somebody who had had this problem might reply. I am three months post bypass and have just started rehab. As I am at this stage I was allowed to use 2.5kg dumbbells. Now I am wondering how fast can I up the weight and dare I try 25kg in the future?*!

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