“Nerve Damage After Heart Surgery?” Asks Sean

I just received a concerned email from Sean about nerve damage after heart surgery. I provided some thoughts for Sean below, but I’m curious to know if you experienced this heart surgery complication. Here is Sean’s story:

Hi, Adam!

I’m recovering from aortic valve and aortic root replacement surgery. It turned out my problems were congenital – a bicuspid aortic valve and a related aneurysm of the aortic root. My faulty valve and aneurysm waited patiently until I was 60-years old to need replacement! Nice of ‘em, huh?!

I am hoping you and your readers can provide some useful information, either scientific or anecdotal. I woke up in the ICU to notice that the left side of my left hand was “asleep” – you know, how your foot might “go to sleep” if you positioned your leg improperly for too long.

The condition has not changed in the 6 weeks since my surgery. My hand is still “asleep”, and it is thus both numb and hyper-sensitive to touch. My surgeon says it is damage to the ulnar nerve caused by compression of the nerves in my chest during surgery. The surgeon says that my hand should return to normal as the nerve regenerates over a few, perhaps six, months. I’d love to believe that, but I’m worried.

I plan to see a neurologist in a few weeks if I continue to see no improvement. Have any of your readers experienced this? Did it ever return to normal? How long did it take? Thanks! — Sean, Greensboro, North Carolina

MY RESPONSE TO SEAN ABOUT NERVE DAMAGE FOLLOWING HEART SURGERY

Hi Sean,

You raise a really good question about nerve damage and heart surgery. I can relate to some of it but not all of it.

When I was going through my early recovery from an aortic valve replacement operation, I too had some numbness in my hands and feet – especially at night. I later learned the numbness was an effect of the Ibuprofen I had been taking. Here’s a prior blog about that topic:

However, your condition sounds very specific. My gut is telling me that you should listen to your doctor and follow his instructions going forward. You have to remember that your body is still “figuring itself out” after the severe trauma of heart surgery. Give it some more time and then see a neurologist if you continue to have issues.

To help you, I will post a blog about this topic to see if any of the other patients have ideas or thoughts for you. — Adam

To all former patients reading this… Did you experience any form of nerve damage after heart surgery. If so, would you please leave a comment for Sean detailing your situation and how/if you fixed it? Simply click here. In advance, thanks!

Scroll down to see over 200 patient comments!

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Deborah Blackmon

    Hi – I’m 15 months out from bypass surgery, and my right leg from groin to ankle is still numb (veins removed from right leg). My chest to the left of my incision remains numb. Doctors aren’t concerned – say the “feeling” may never return!
    Deb

  • Debra Ogilby

    Its really sad how Dr.’s arent concerned. They don’t have to live with it day in and day out. My right leg is very hyper sensitive. Even someone touching it hurts. My Dr. just says hmmm. I guess its just one of those things your gonna have to live with.

  • Don Donovan

    In reply to Deborah Blackman. The damage to the inside of your right leg, if it mirrors mine, will gradually improve until you don’t notice it any more. But the surface of my chest, to the left of the sternum, has been uncomfortable since my CABGx4 in December 2008. Sometimes it’s intrusive but can be allayed by rubbing hard, sometimes contact with clothes makes it apparent, most times I just live with it. I suspect it will always be unpleasant; I suspect it cannot be fixed (which is why doctors are so vague about it) I suggest we thank our lucky stars we’re still having fun!

  • james

    I recently had an LVAD placed and I also am experiencing numbness in my left hand and half of my left foot (last 3 toes and foot).

  • George Miller

    Open heart CABG x 5 and a hole in my heart repaired June 1,2010.I have read all these comments on numbness of the ankle and foot and chest area after this surgery.I am another one having this problem.I never suspected nerve damage but it has been long enough to be some better and it isn’t.It even feels like they tore my rotater cuff during surgery!My left leg and foot are so swollen I had to go up a shoe size.I was also left with a club foot type gate in my walking.At times I feel like I have suffered a light stroke as my memeory has not been the same.

  • Scott McFall

    I am a 46 year old heart patient. In 2008 I had a freestyle valve and an aortic replacement at the root. after the surgery I coded for a few hours and had cath in groin and neck on both sides. After a few hours, being shocked back several times, a temporary pacemaker, aphib for a while… I recovered. I have pain in both feet in the plantar facia that comes and goes, wild atrophy in the right pec and arm, tingling off and on in certain parts of the body and have not quite got my full cognition speed back. Some of this stuff is kind off dramatic as I was used to being very fit. I am very glad that I am alive, however – the issues with recovery are much more dramatic than I expected. Hormone changes, aging and exhaustion are more dramatic. Great to be alive, tough to deal with the changes. Sometimes it’s a mixed bag.

  • diane horwin

    I too had open heart surgury 2 1/2 years ago, after a valve repair and 5 bypasses, I was left with, what they call a club foot, that was a leg that was numb down to my toes.It was atributed to the position during the long operation. I was also left with severe pain in my back, which after many trips to the hospital they discovered that I had 2 liters of flud in my left lung that was also atributed to positioning during the operation. I’M gratfull to be alive, but as many of you have said after open heart sugury many answers to questions about pain and numbness is answered with Ï don’t know…..so good luck to all of you and I guess being grateful for another shot at life makes us all lucky. By the way I still have numbness in my ankle and foot but I can walk, and after they extracted the liquid from my lung the pain went away….

  • Kirk Rose

    I am a 64 year old mail and have had my Aortic valve replaced 3 times. Each surgery resulted in some challenges after the procedure. 1st in 1977, suffered a mild stroke resulting in epilepsy, a little scary but have learned to deal with it. The second procedure in 1993. Learning to live with the side effects of Cumadin became quite a challenge. The third in 2008, awoke from the anesthesia with my entire left side paralyzed. A few days after the surgery I did recover but was left with tingling from my left ear to my left ankle, severe pain on the left side of my torso, sharp pain in the left gluteus. The result is constant pain/numbness on my left side, primary in the area from the sternum to the upper femur. Two and 1/2 year later not much has changed, I can function pretty well (still compete in Triathlons and other sport events) however the constant discomfort and pain is, at times, difficult to live/function with. Tried acupuncture, medication, Physical Therapy and massage therapy with no success. I do sympathize with the medical community but do feel abandoned at times.

  • chris

    I have been experiencing visual aura(prodrome)almost everyday since mitral valve repair(minimally invasise) on 10/12/11. Sometimes there’s a headache afterward. I am 63 yr old female and wonder if anyone else had/has this?

  • janet

    my 21 year old son had a myofibroblastic tumor removed on sept 21rst. while still open on the operating table the dr found 2 little tumors surrounding the heart. they scraped them off. 5 weeks out of surgery his left foot is still numb and feels like it will explode. the surgeon told us it was due to scraping the sensory nerve. it will regenerate. the pain is almost unbearable for him. in 6 months we will return to the surgeon and if still numb, he will refer us to someone else. if my son james could hold out till then.

  • John

    Janet, sorry to hear about your son. I hope he feels better soon. My right face is numb since December 1995. The doctors have no reason why this happened. I have learned to live with it.

  • Cal

    I am 43 and had a mitral valve repair at the beginning of August. I have been experiencing the numbness and tingling in my ring and pinky finger of my right hand since that date. My tongue and lower jaw has gone numb once and my back has gone numb a number of times. I am relieved to hear that it is not just me. Sometimes my pinky and ring finger go dead when typing on the keyboard. Good Luck and hang in there.

  • Ann

    My husband had an aortic valve replacment on 30th Sept 2011 he had what he says is a lot of electric shocks to the right side of his chest accross from his right nipple, less then 5 weeks later 2 Nov he had to have a middle part of his lung removered, its 9 days since surgery the electric shocks as he calls them has got a lot worse, he was cut around the back to get at the lung, at this moment in time he feels as if he will never get better, can you tell him anything about the elecrtic shocks he is suffering from? they also had to do a repair to somewhere else on the aortic surgeon did say he was lucky to be alive, he should know in a couple of weeks if he needs any more treatment for the cancer in his lung, hope you can help Ann

  • Virginia Cote

    my dad just had a triple by pass surgery a week ago and i believe that they took some veins out from his left leg. they also performed angiogram from his right leg…now he is transferred to the recovery room but he cannot feel his right leg nor move it…is it possible that his right leg will be paralized forever? or is it just normal to experience that after surgery? please reply to me or send me e-mail, im very worried for my dad…thank you and i will wait for your reply very soon.

  • Debra Ogilby

    I had AVR 1 year ago, and the numbness in my right leg still hasnt returned, its patchy from the groin area to below the knee, and very painful at times. Causes me to limp. If im off my feet it feels ok, but if Im on my feet alot during the day, Im in alot of pain by evening.

  • StephenM

    Hi Virginia, I would say your concern for your dad is admirable, though maybe a bit premature. Nothing heals better than time. I also had a tripple bypass, new aerotic valve, and an angiogram in my right leg. The vein harvest for my heart was taken from my left leg. It took a few weeks for my right leg to return back to normal, and after 12 months, it has returned to full strength. My left leg, the donor vein one, has a little residual injury in that I have a numbness in my ankle, just around where the incision was made to remove the vein, this is likely to be permanent – but still beats death! I would suggest you speak to your dad’s medical consultant to express your concerns. I wish him a speedy recovery…

  • Greg

    I have numbness in my left arm two years after my open heart bypass surgery. It comes and goes. I get it a lot while at the computer and while sleeping on my stomach with my left arm up under the pillow. My surgery was in March 2009. I was on the operating table for 7.5 hours and in the critical care unit for 11 days. I spent a total of 37 days in the hospital including a week before my operation and after my heart attack.

    I noticed right after I woke up in ICU that my left hand was weak and numb. I had extreme numbness and weakness in my left pinky finger and the finger next to it. I have tingling feeling in my left upper outer thigh and in the lower inner part of my left leg right aboev the medial maleosis bone. SP?

    The numbness in my left hand eventually went away but the numbness returns from time to time in my left arm. It feels like it’s gone to sleep or that I hit the funny bone in my elbow.

    I read a lot of the post above trying to figure out what caused my numbness and there are many things that could be causing it. It’s definately some type of nerve damage. Be it from a lack of oxygen to the brain during the surgery or a compression of the nerves in the chest or left arm during the surgery. I was not awake so I don’t have a clue how they position my body during the surgery.

    I complained a lot about the numbnes in my left hand because it made it hard to eat. I could not hold a fork and or knife with any grip to cut up my food using my left hand so that was annoying. I could not hold onto a wash cloth to wash myself as I had to do my own sponge baths in the hospital. I could not walk without help as I was so swollen up after the operation. I went in weighing about 220 lbs and weighted about 280 lbs after the operation. It took me 30 days to get all the fluid off my body with loop diuretics.

    I still have a funny sensation on my chest where they cut me open. They used one of my chest arteries for a bypass. I had 4 bypasses, a MAZE Procedure and a Mitral Valve Repair Job in the same operation.

    I’m doing better these days and will be 3 years post op in March of 2012.

    I find it interesting that all these patients have the same type of numbness as I had and still have from time to time. I just hope it’s not pre stroke symptoms. Sometimes I will take some baby asprins just in case it’s a stroke or blockage in my brain. I took 12 baby aspins the night of my heart attack before I called for the ambulance and I think that helped to save my life that night.

  • Pat

    I have aortic valve replacement 3 weeks ago. Right after the surgery and up to about 2 & 1/2 weeks post op, my arms throbbed. From my elbow down to my hand mostly on the left side it felt like it was going to explode from achy pressure. The pain got worse while sleeping. The intense pain and pressure in my arms has gotten better, although my thumb and pointer finger are numb and sometimes ache now. In most posts, people seem to have the numbness in their pinky’s but mine is in the thumbs? Hopefully this will go away in time.

  • ted hodgson

    Mine is in my left arm and it is gotten worse after six months, after a quad bipass and was also told to see a nurologist.

  • donna

    my son had aortic aneurysm repair and has been left with weakness, pain and numbness in his legs and feet, he has been tested and told he has nerve damage in his thighs, his surgery was two years ago and it has not gotten any better

  • kandy

    hi my husband had 5 bypasses done on jan 25, 2012. he complains of numbness in is arms and hands. he also has a stiff neck that will pop if he moves wrong or will give him an instant headache. his chest is still numb also. he also has a tender spot on the top right side of is stomache. he also is having some memory loss at times. please let me know of anything i can do to help him with his pain??????

  • Gary Quirke

    Hi Adam,

    My doctor discovered the dilated Aortic Root after my Mom passed away from an Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and i was told to get a chest CT to see if I had a similar condition and my Aortic Root was 51mm. Ten weeks ago I had aortic root replacement surgery using the David procedure. I am getting little pains in my chest to the right of my heart. My Echo And ECG were good and my cardiologist says everything is great but these pains worry me. I suspect that the pains are bone related and not a heart pain does anyone have any thoughts on the matter or have experienced similar pains. My surgery was done at Toronto General hospital by Dr. Feindel who has been working with Dr. Tirone David since 1983.
    I am easily doing 60 minutes of cardio on an eliptical machine with no problems I am 49 years old.

    Anyone with thoughts on the matter I would be pleased to hear from you.

    Respectfully,

    Gary Quirke

    P.S. Adam’s book was very helpful well worth getting it.

  • Frederick W Stumpf

    I also had problems with hands feet and right arm . I have done everything doctors have said now my right arm is about worthless.It has pain shooting thru it all day long and I get no answers from doctors.Except try this pill and some of them make your head hurt so bad u wonder why our u doing this. O I had 5 bypasses and its been 2 and a half years. Id really dont think more time will make it get better. Good Luck to you and God BLESS YOU. P S any body has answer to what happen to my right side please call me 1 618 779 4971. Ireally dont know how to use computor to good other than smash with hammer.

  • Tabby

    I had aortic valve replacement Jab 5 2012, so far I have had a good but slow recovery, But for the past 1 1/2 I have been having weird sensations in my chest, not really a hurt, but more like an electrical shock, and it runs down into my right hand. It does not do it all the time, it seems the more I do, the worst it gets and the longer it last. Can anyone explain this?

  • Debra Ogilby

    Tabby, I get the same sensations in my right leg. Nerve damage causes the electric shock type sensations. They can be very painful. My Dr. has to me to learn to live with it.

  • Patricia De Leon

    I just ran into this while searching the net for answers to a similar problem, ever since my heart surgery last year, the right side of my face, jaw, eye, arm and leg feel a little funny, it does not hurt it’s more like an almost numb feeling so I’ve attribute it to my surgery but it’s been almost a year and it’s still there, I am making an appointment with my neuorologist to find out more. Hopefully it’s just the trauma of having had heart surgery and it will go away but you never know, sorry if this didn’t help, it helped me to read that someone else had a similar issue do. :) cheers!

  • Jay

    I had a quad bypass and have had leg issues since the surgery (About a year now) I was told that they had difficulty finding proper veins and had to dig around more then usual. Numbness in both legs below and above the knee on one side. What worked for me is using thigh high medium compression stockings (hose)

    I had some intermittent issues with the left shoulder and hand. I thought this was (at first) from me trying to pull out my airway when I was coming out of sedation. *The restraints muscle strain or? Quite a few months after surgery I have regular bouts of numbness in my left hand (Thumb, middle and pointer finger) My GP has me working my neck around pushing my forehead with a hand and holding a shrug for as long as I can. It seems to turn the problem off when it happens.

    I was told the leg issues would resolve (or not) in the first 6 months to year. And that after that I was probably stuck with whatever I’ve got. Its a year and its not as bad but I can’t do a day on my feet (work) without wearing compression.

    The compression was suggested by a nurse who lives in our neighborhood (and prescribed by my GP) The heart surgery folks used to do this regularly and don’t do this now. The nurse I spoke to said she was puzzeled why this wasn’t being done anymore. So I hope more hospitals send patients home with compression to help nerve damaged legs. Or as in my case the follow up with the GP asks about this and resolves it in a similar manner.

    In specific the stuff that works best for me are Jobst 20-30mmHg and for whatever this is worth the light weight ultra sheer don’t slide down or (worse) bunch up behind the knees as I experienced with the two other brands of tights I tried.

  • brian massocco

    Feb 9 2012 had aneurysm in my aorta removed and grafted and a aortic valve replacement. Had some issues during surgery so my 3 – 5 hour surgery turned into a 13 hour surgery with 2 extra surgeons. Anyway, from the time I woke my pinky and ring finger on my left hand was numb and hurting. Doc said Ulnar nerve sometimes gets pinched from the chest being opened. I don’t think it is in my back. My left elbow was black and blue and swollen even a week after surgery. Now, 6 weeks later, my left hand is driving me nuts. Constant pain. Sometimes tolerable and other times not. I was told it could take 3 or more months to go away. I really hope not because I am ready to cut the arm off. Family doc put me on Lyrica one week ago but so far no luck. If it wasn’t for my hand hurting, everything else would be fine… go figure!!

  • alwyn almeida

    cramps in my fingers after cabg cannot play the guitaras before doc says it will be normal but i doubt there has bee no progres whatsoever i also fel a lot tired after a short walk avd ny calves pain a lot i have to rest for about 10 minutes before i start off again i am not happy at all after surgery i feel cheated after that huge expense please help

  • Michelle

    Hi Guys,

    my mom had a triple bypass a few weeks back. Before the op they put her on the balloon, thus cutting blood circulation in her right leg. Maybe you guys can help me, her nerves are obviously now coming alive as her leg jumps and wiggles on its own, how long does it take for the nerves in her leg (this is the leg cut for veins) to heal… how long till the pain goes away? Her foot is ice cold and has no feeling. It has been numb since the op… how long till she gets feeling back in that foot? the doctor says she wont lose the foot as there is a pulse in it, but it is very week… What do we do to increase the circulation in her foot and help the recovery process?
    I await ANYONES soonest response.

  • Bob

    My bicuspid aortic valve was replaced mid December (2011). The surgery was botched and had to be re-done 4 weeks later, but I remember having fairly severe pain in my left arm at times. The pain would slowly subside and disappear within about 10 minutes. I had very little pain from the sternum after both surgeries. After the second surgery I was still experiencing intermittent pain in my left arm, but found it usually occurred when I first started exercising, especially when walking. This pain still occurs 12 weeks later but is much less, sometimes barely noticeable. I also started having a ‘pins & needles’ sensation in my right arm when sitting or lying down. This symptom is directly related to positioning: if I lay flat or lean toward the left, the sensation can be fairly acute, If I shift my weight to the right, the sensation disappears completely. This symptom has not changed significantly since immediately after the second surgery. I have not taken any ibuprofen or any other pain meds on any regular basis.

  • Sandu

    I had aortic root & valve replacement surgery on 1/4/2010, after being born with this condition! The surgery didn’t go well & the DR placed me in a drug induced comma for another 2 days in the CVICU to determine where I was still bleeding! Once they found the bleed & brought me back I was at the hospital for 2 more days before they released me! Since then I have had increasing nerve pain in my feet, which has deminished my quality of life! Please reply as to what may have caused this & what I can do! Some days I can barely walk & I am only 51 years old, raising my little sisters children after her sudden death in 2004!
    Thx so much for your blog & time!

  • Debbie

    My name is Debbie & I too had open heart surgery 5 weeks ago and have nerve damage in my right hand. I have no feeling in my right thumb, index finger, and middle finger. It feels like its getting worse. I too have been thinking about going to a neurologist. I am getting very nervous about my recovery. I am a CMA and I work at a doctors office, and I will be unable to work without my right hand. Please help me… Will my hand ever recover? It’s already been 5 weeksand I’ve had therapist coming to my house twice a week, and I still don’t see any improvement. What should I do?
    Thank you….

  • Shawn

    I also had aortal replacement in 2009, I had a aneurysm associated with it and it was sleeved rather than having a bypass. I woke up with my entire right arm numb, I was kept in a medically induced coma for three days. The surgery was extensive and time consuming and I spent over 8 hours in surgery which is at the very limit of what they can do with a heart lung machine.

    2012 and I still occasionally get numbness in my fingertips, they put the main IV lines in through a incision in my right side below my right shoulder. I have nerve damage in my right shoulder and it causes some of the issues with my right hand. A year of rehab helped but it will still spring up occasionally.

    Basically I am glad I am alive, if they had not found the issue with my heart when I came in for my annual check up I would not be here typing today. During these types of surgeries especially since they had a little surprise when they opened me up, they expected some issue with the aorta from the heart Cath, however it was greater than expected and required some quick work by the surgery crew who did very well by me. Baylor College of Medicine and I recommend that group, they saved my life.

  • Jack

    I posted a year ago regarding chest neuropathy after quad-bypass surgery. I still suffer sixteen months after surgery. I have seen hundreds of posts since of folks with similar issues in arms, feet, chest, etc. Where are the doctors with answers for us? Why don’t they post on this site? I have tried therapy, patches, Lyrica, etc and guess what folks…there isn’t an answer! I’m sorry to disappoint you all, but medicine has no answer but to wait and see. Jesus helps me to endure, but medicine has failed us. Sorry all!

  • Debra Ogilby

    I had a friend tell me to try a drug called Neurontin (gabapentin) I have a Dr appt on May 18th and Im going to ask my Dr. My friend said it has helped her nerve pain tremendously. Ill let you guys know.

  • Patricia De Leon

    I can say that after 14 months post op, the numbness on my inner thigh on the side were they put the groing iv, it’s gone, it’s finnaly back to normal!

    I pray for healing for those of you that are still going through it, in Jesus name,
    Amen!.

    PDL

  • James

    This might be a double post so if this is (Forgive me) I’m replying to a couple of threads on the same topic. Yes, I had nerve damage (legs) from the vein grafting. Numbness in both legs (the calf on one side and the shin on the other. I also have a lot of trouble with leg pain *I stand up all day at work. I was told that the vein harvesting for my 4x bypass was difficult and my wife was told (Before I even woke up) about leg issues. I was told to see how it went but… It didn’t go well and a Nurse suggested I talk to the doctor about compression stockings. I went to a place that fits patients (Gets you into the right size) They also let you try them on and showed you the tricks to doing that. Its been over a year and while the problem is not exactly the same its still a problem. I’m still wearing compression (hose) cooler and go up above the knee which I need (On one side) Talk to your doctor about a prescription and then go to see a fitter. I’ve tried 3 different brands and I like the Jobst the best.

  • Melissa F.

    I have been reading many of these postings, I had my bypass surgery about 6 weeks ago and now have many of the symptoms that others discribe here. I have many of the same pains and am going to see a nero specalist soon. I am 41 years young and am hoping for some of my normal life back. I have days when I wonder if that is ever going to happen. I am alread tired of beign sick and tired, and only see more of the same for now. How long will it take for things to get better. My whloe right side just feels dead, and I get stabbing and cutting pains from my right foot up to my face on the right side.
    I can not walk normal. I was told I had a stroke during my surgery, but now the doc says it could be nerve damamge. I cry almost everyday about something and I feel my family is about feed up with me. I wish I could have a better outlook about just being alive like most of you on here. I feel alone and lost most of the time. I at least know there are others out there going thru some of the same pain that I am. I hope and pray

  • James

    During my surgery I was told (later of course) that the surgeons had a difficult time finding veins that were suitable for my bypass. I was on the table for 5 hours+ I woke up with more leg pain then anything else. I also felt numbness in both legs in different areas. They told me that it would either clear up in 6 months or not. In my case it was not (I’m a year and 1/2 out) I used meds at first. It was suggested I talk to my GP about Compression stockings. I got measured for some medical weight stuff and have been wearing it 7 days a week since then. What a huge relief that has been. It makes a huge difference. Like no pain with them on to chronic throbbing (Plus the numb areas feel – weird)

    If you a guy? Try it anyway. It might be the answer. It was for me.

  • Bob

    Melissa:

    I had open heart valve replacement surgery last December that was botched, then the surgery was repeated in January. The first surgery was supposed to be minimally invasive and as part of that the bypass tubes were attached through my right groin rather than through my chest. I noted immediately after the surgery that my right leg had a numb area from the groin to just above my knee. Luckily this does not affect any part of my ability to walk or do just about anything. This area is still numb today but I only notice it if the area is touched. Recently I have been getting a slight pain from the area occasionally which I believe is the nerves starting to work again. Only time will tell.

    The good news is that your body takes time to heal from major surgery and your fitness level and stamina are low for several months following surgery. I returned to tennis about 9 weeks following the second surgery and could only hit 3 – 4 shots before feeling very drained. I was worried that was all the energy I would ever have. I am now nearly all the way back to the fitness level I had prior to surgery. I highly recommend cardiac physical therapy which I did starting 2 weeks following the second surgery and continued for 8 weeks thereafter. I feel that it provided a fast track to recovery.

    Hope you start to feel better soon. Don’t be depressed, return to your former lifestyle as much as possible and as quickly as possible within reason. Work hard on the recovery process, walk every day, twice a day. Exercise within reason. Go out and enjoy life as much as possible. The discomforts won’t seem so important anymore.

  • Chrissy

    My mitral valve was repaired via an anuloplasty and mini sternotimy on Friday June 8th. Since then I have a large numb area from my inner right knee up to the incision of my inner thigh /groin. The oddest thing is that I experience pain searing at times in the numb area. It seems strange that I can feel anything when it’s so numb. Supposedly it should go away but I think in some ways it’s worse. Any thoughts?

  • Debra

    Chrissy, I have the same problem. I had an AVR on 11-15-10. Mine never got better, in fact its gotten worse. I now walk with a limp, and every step I take is painful, yet most of the inside of my right leg is numb. I saw a nuerologist, and he explained it as hyper sensitive. Its numb, and when the nerves were cut, they try to repair themselves, and usually end up short circuiting themselves. I now have to have a handicap sign in my car, and really no hope of getting better. Ive seen many Dr’s and they all have given me no hope. I an thinking of trying acupunture. Ive heard it can help.

  • James

    Debra, I don\’t know if this will be of value but it helped me a lot. I urge you to ask your doctor about medical weight compression stockings (Or if the pain goes above your knees compression panty hose) If your doctor oks it be sure you get professionally fit (Measured) Your insurance will probably pay for a couple pairs. I\’ve had the nerve numbness / pain more then a year after my heart surgery and I work standing up all day. Without compression its miserable – throbbing/pain. With it? I have no problem making it through an 8 hour day on my feet.

    BTW a Nurse friend suggested this (One of her kids has had heart surgery) When I asked my Surgeon the Nurse said that it was perfectly ok (As long as I was fitted) and admitted they always used to send patients home with compression stockings.

    Does anyone know why they don\’t do this now? Is it simply cost?

  • Travis

    I had minimally invaisive Mitral repair 14 months ago. I can say that i had nerve issues in my chest for at least a year. Sometimes there would cycles of extreem chest/ shoulder/ back pain. I haven’t had those pains since 9 months after surgery but I’m still not right. I think nerves VERY slowly will heal, but I think there is nothing a doctor or medicine can do.

  • Elizabeth

    Hello,
    I am 9 weeks out from mitral valve repair and annuloplasty. That seems to be ok. The problem I am having is severe pain that is in my shoulders, neck and across the top of my upper chest. My lungs are clear. This pain is like a knife cutting through me every time I breathe in. (inhalation). I have to sleep sitting straight up in bed. Though I am 59, and did not shed any tears from the pain of surgery, this pain is like nothing I have ever experienced. My PCP doctor says it is nerve pain from the surgery. When I was awakened in the ICU, they removed the respirator and since then, in the middle of the back of my skull I hear a loud “snap.” The “snap” does not hurt, but then I have this severe migrating pain: shoulders, neck, partially down my arms. It moves from left to right, but is mostly in the left. I am to return to work in 4 days…this will be impossible at this point. The doctor thinks with the being inutbated, the trans esophageal echo, etc, that something in my neck is awry. But what is the next step? Anyone else with this problem?

  • Melissa

    Thank you Bob for your kind words, It has been another month now with no change. I am feeling a little better, I am trying to be happy with all the things I can do and not think so hard about everything that I cant do all the time. Im not crying as much now as I was, but it is still hard. Thank you everyone, and I hope the best for us all.

  • don

    I had a quad bypass in Dec 2009 that caused nerve damage. It hs never healed; I just live with it.

  • Melissa

    I was wondering how many have tried homeopathic treatments, and if they had any help with those?

  • donna

    I had 4 way by pass heart surgery 9 weeks ago. Both thighs are painful with neuropathy. Numb but very painful at the same time. Feels like tight bands around each one from knee to hip. The feeling is changing, and I pray healing. I am In cardiac rehab. Doctors always mention diabetis , which i have, but is very much under control. This happened when I woke from the surgery (which saved my life)
    I am taking Gabapentin 3 times a day.
    Good luck to you!

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