Broken Sternum Recovery… And, The Pain

I approach this topic with delicate care.

“Why?” you may be wondering.

Well…. Let me explain.

It is one thing to realize you need heart surgery.

It is another thing to realize you need to have your sternum broken in the process. That said, heart valve surgery is somewhat of a double whammy.

Yes. There is anesthesia.

Yes. There is pain medication.

Yes. There are medical facts which suggest that you will live longer after heart valve surgery.

Broken Sternum Recovery
Me… One Week After Open Heart Valve Surgery


There is also pain. There is also doubt. And, there is a lot of that thing called “fear”.

Guess what?

I’m here to tell you that if I can make it through double heart valve surgery…

If I can make it through broken sternum recovery…

If I am now surfing after cardiac surgery and scuba diving after heart surgery after having my chest cracked…

So can you!


No Pain, No Gain?

In the 1970’s, there was a saying that circled places like Muscle Beach in Venice, California. It went something like, “No pain! No gain!”

Personally, I never believed in it.

That cliche, in my opinion, was a contradictory stimulus used to hype body-builders for the purpose of “looking good” in tank tops and short-shorts. That’s not my way. “Pain” doesn’t feel good to me.

Still, I am very physical and very active – I exercise five times a week (both before and after heart surgery).

However, when it comes to heart valve surgery, specifically broken sternum recovery, there is a lot of truth to the saying, “No pain! No gain!”

The 2007 Heart Valve Surgery Patient Survey (now available in my book) suggests that the majority of patients find cardiac surgery recovery – which includes broken sternum recovery – more difficult than expected. In fact, one of the biggest challenges patients have is broken sternum recovery.

As a former heart valve surgery patient, I know why…

It’s a real simple answer…

Ready for it?

Here’s why…


But, the long-term gain heavily outweighs the short-term pain.

Trust me. With each day that goes by, your broken sternum will be less and less agitated. Slowly, you will be able to do the things you did before the operation (e.g. driving after heart surgery).

Soon enough, your broken sternum recovery will be complete and you’ll be thinking to yourself…

“I did it! I made it through heart valve surgery. I made it through broken sternum recovery. I am thankful for my second chance at life!”

I hope this helps you better understand broken sternum recovery.

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

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.

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