How Long Does it Take for the Sternum to Heal

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H.E.pumper

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Where's the happy posts on this subject?

This subject thread needs to be read by everyone trying to decide between tissue and mechanical AVR! The possibility of going through this again is...:thumbd:
 

Jkm7

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I don't agree, H.E.Pumper.
I am someone who has 'been there' and made that choice.

My Second OHS in four years was my valve replacement and I opted (with very strrong preference clearly expressed) for tissue valve. I am now shy of four and a half years post op and I would absolutely opt for tissue again. For Me, it was the without question right choice. I knew exactly what to expect as I had the same surgeon, same hospital, same cardio.... and with that foreknowledge, my choice was tissue. I just did not want a mechanical.
 

H.E.pumper

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North Olmsted, OH USA
I don't agree, H.E.Pumper.
I am someone who has 'been there' and made that choice.

My Second OHS in four years was my valve replacement and I opted (with very strrong preference clearly expressed) for tissue valve. I am now shy of four and a half years post op and I would absolutely opt for tissue again. For Me, it was the without question right choice. I knew exactly what to expect as I had the same surgeon, same hospital, same cardio.... and with that foreknowledge, my choice was tissue. I just did not want a mechanical.
You must be a youngster, we old people treasure our relatively short time left on this earth so we get a little antsy when we are alienated from our dream activities for up to a year. I feel like I’m in prison for pity sakes…peering through the window at life passing by. I plan on making up for lost time…Big Time.:thumbup:....and yes, yes, yes I know if it were not for this OHS I would be dead in two years so cut me some slack... :wink2:

Tom
 

Jkm7

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No, I am no youngster nor am I unique. There are many over 60 year olds just like me. :)

My recovery from my valve replacement (my second surgery) was actually remarkably easier and faster than my first OHS. I was given permission to drive at just over two weeks and was walking 2 - 2/12 miles daily in weeks. I had full sternotomy both surgeries.

Prison for a year? What??? DH and I were on a plane to Florida after both my surgeries within 2 1/2 - 3 months.... once for a great resort stay for a week and the other time we boarded a cruise ship for 11 days. If that is prison, :D lock me up now, please.

Our best friend is an MD and invited us for dinner at their house the week after I left the hospital. I thought he was crazy and trying to kill me. It was bitter cold January weather in New England. He wanted me to realize I was not an invalid and should get on with my life while following all my doctor's instructions. It was the biggest favor he could do for us. We understood I was not fragile and given common sense could get on with our lives. Prison?? Nooooo, no prison for us.

I fully recognize I was blessed to have such successful surgeries and good recoveries both times. I know not everyone is that fortunate and though they do everything 'right', they have a harder time but I believe that with all the knowledge and experience the surgeons have these days, OHS has become safer and many more of us have a much easier time of it than did as little as 10 years ago. The advancements have been wonderful.

I think it relevant and important to balance the posts here. When someone says it's out of the question to think of going through this twice, that may be the case for them and that is very understandable but it is not the case for all of us.

Of course, I hope to never need another OHS but should I, there is no question I would again ask for tissue valve.

.
 

H.E.pumper

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Messages
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Location
North Olmsted, OH USA
No, I am no youngster nor am I unique. There are many over 60 year olds just like me. :)

My recovery from my valve replacement (my second surgery) was actually remarkably easier and faster than my first OHS. I was given permission to drive at just over two weeks and was walking 2 - 2/12 miles daily in weeks. I had full sternotomy both surgeries.

Prison for a year? What??? DH and I were on a plane to Florida after both my surgeries within 2 1/2 - 3 months.... once for a great resort stay for a week and the other time we boarded a cruise ship for 11 days. If that is prison, :D lock me up now, please.

Our best friend is an MD and invited us for dinner at their house the week after I left the hospital. I thought he was crazy and trying to kill me. It was bitter cold January weather in New England. He wanted me to realize I was not an invalid and should get on with my life while following all my doctor's instructions. It was the biggest favor he could do for us. We understood I was not fragile and given common sense could get on with our lives. Prison?? Nooooo, no prison for us.

I fully recognize I was blessed to have such successful surgeries and good recoveries both times. I know not everyone is that fortunate and though they do everything 'right', they have a harder time but I believe that with all the knowledge and experience the surgeons have these days, OHS has become safer and many more of us have a much easier time of it than did as little as 10 years ago. The advancements have been wonderful.

I think it relevant and important to balance the posts here. When someone says it's out of the question to think of going through this twice, that may be the case for them and that is very understandable but it is not the case for all of us.

Of course, I hope to never need another OHS but should I, there is no question I would again ask for tissue valve.

.
I get it. I have no problem walking, doing the laundry, cutting the lawn, running errands, vacuuming, cleaning. gardening, participating in our political process (big time) and volunteer work. What I had to give up to have OHS is what has me flustered. I gave up a one week bicycle trip in the Virginia mountains, I missed the first and second summer sand volleyball leagues I participate in every year, I said good-bye to my extreme-hiking pals who are now in Colorado hiking up 14rs (14,000 foot mountain peaks, I've done seven so far) and I had to cancel our volleyball cruise to Bermuda which sails in two weeks out of Cape Liberty, NJ. Sigh. My long term goal is to participate in our hiking club's annual 16 Ridges hike (extreme hill climbing, off trail, in 10 miles), in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in early November and I will need to be in tip top shape to keep pace with the younger guys.

I hope to be paroled within the next two months for good behavior.

Tom
 

Jkm7

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I get it. I have no problem walking, doing the laundry, cutting the lawn, running errands, vacuuming, cleaning. gardening, participating in our political process (big time) and volunteer work. What I had to give up to have OHS is what has me flustered. I gave up a one week bicycle trip in the Virginia mountains, I missed the first and second summer sand volleyball leagues I participate in every year, I said good-bye to my extreme-hiking pals who are now in Colorado hiking up 14rs (14,000 foot mountain peaks, I've done seven so far) and I had to cancel our volleyball cruise to Bermuda which sails in two weeks out of Cape Liberty, NJ. Sigh. My long term goal is to participate in our hiking club's annual 16 Ridges hike (extreme hill climbing, off trail, in 10 miles), in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in early November and I will need to be in tip top shape to keep pace with the younger guys.

I hope to be paroled within the next two months for good behavior.

Tom
All best wishes, Tom.
Hope you heal well and regain all that stamina you certainly need for such an active life style.
With or without OHS, isn't there a small chance the 'younger guys' might have a faster pace than many of us over 60 can compete with? :)
Keep your eye on the prize and hopefully you will be back to the extreme sports soon.
 

H.E.pumper

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Joined
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Messages
47
Location
North Olmsted, OH USA
All best wishes, Tom.
Hope you heal well and regain all that stamina you certainly need for such an active life style.
With or without OHS, isn't there a small chance the 'younger guys' might have a faster pace than many of us over 60 can compete with? :)
Keep your eye on the prize and hopefully you will be back to the extreme sports soon.
Thanks for your kind words, all the best for you also.....and I too will be 'recovering' using cruise-therapy soon...the Disney Dream in October.

Tom
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
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kansas city, mo
It could take the intial incession a few weeks to heal, but for the tissues and muscles to heal, one year max. It took me that long to say that I was completely healed when the mucles and tissues are healed, no more pain, no more being hunched over and have to take time to straighten up. It depends on each individual. Just do not rush the healing process, take your time to get built back up. Hugs for today.
 

Skeeter

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Aug 5, 2012
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Id
It took me apx. 1 year to do a pushup without fealing a strain down the middle of my sternum. I could do a few pushups after 6 months but I could deffinitly feel it. Best advise i have is the same as everyone elses: take your time and dont rush it. Hug the pillow as long as you can and even after you are cleared for moderate lifting and driving, I would advise (from personal experience) to try to balance force amongst both arms. Even after my sternum was technically healed (6 mo). I could still feel it if I pushed myself off of the ground or out of a chair with only one arm. Even after the a year it still felt better for me to balance weight and force as equally as possible, when possible, between both arms. By 2 years later it was a none issue.
 

newarrior

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I am six weeks post AVR today, 66 years old, and my recovery had been quite rapid. For several weeks now have been walking up to an hour a day at brisk pace, and once I am up and about there is little or no pain, although I do feel it coming back in the late evening.

My big problem is at night. Whenever I try to sleep on my side I wake up in considerable pain - so much that I am reluctant to move as I know it will get even worse. When I lie on my back, the pain subsides, and then I try to sleep on my side again as I cannot go to sleep on my back.

Within an hour or so I wake in much pain. It maybe my imagination but the nights definitely seem to be getting worse and worse. My partner is so concerned that she wants me to go back to the hospital and see a doctor, even though my next appointment is not until the end of August.

Apart from the night pains, and high blood pressure, (which is slowly reducing), my recovery seems to be pretty normal, so I wondered how 'normal' are these pains at night? Does anyone else have similar experiences and should I just grin and bear it for a while?
Any updates ? did you get a tissue or mechanical valve ?
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
I am six weeks post AVR today, 66 years old, and my recovery had been quite rapid. For several weeks now have been walking up to an hour a day at brisk pace, and once I am up and about there is little or no pain, although I do feel it coming back in the late evening.

My big problem is at night. Whenever I try to sleep on my side I wake up in considerable pain - so much that I am reluctant to move as I know it will get even worse. When I lie on my back, the pain subsides, and then I try to sleep on my side again as I cannot go to sleep on my back.

Within an hour or so I wake in much pain. It maybe my imagination but the nights definitely seem to be getting worse and worse. My partner is so concerned that she wants me to go back to the hospital and see a doctor, even though my next appointment is not until the end of August.

Apart from the night pains, and high blood pressure, (which is slowly reducing), my recovery seems to be pretty normal, so I wondered how 'normal' are these pains at night? Does anyone else have similar experiences and should I just grin and bear it for a while?
Oh wow, no way. Force yourself to sleep flat on your back, at this point it makes a difference! If your sleeping on your side I imagine that pain is very much to be expected. You’re putting a lot of stress on your sternum that still very tender, clearly. Don’t do it! Once you’re fully healed then try it maybe, but until then you have to retrain yourself to be able to sleep on your back
 
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