Are all or most of us with valve replacements (tissue or mechanical) prescribed to remain on low-dose aspirin - for life? My cardiologist has me on such regimen, and says he believes it’s a standard (or maybe a different anti-coagulant regimen).
6 plates. One large on top and bottom; and four small plates in between.
Sternal Plate Recovery?
Journal posted on August 11, 2017
Folks, I had 6 sternal plates screwed into my sternum 2 weeks ago. Sadly, the procedure is much more invasive than even my OHS for AVR on May 24. Since my sternum never fused, they had to install plates.
The recovery is so MUCH more painful and slow. I've been home-bound for a month; and Dr says likely another 6-8 weeks.
I'm hoping to find anyone else in this community who has had sternal plates installed; that hopefully can help me understand what's ahead. Anyone had this procedure or know someone who has?
I'd be so grateful to hear from anyone at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had second surgery in 8 weeks Wed, July 26th to repair my sternum. My sternum had not "fused" any since my AVR of June 24th. CT Scan showed no "boney" union and dislocation. Tons of worsening pain, grinding, and popping, from the movement of my two sternal halves. So, on Wed 7/26, a new plastic surgeon cut me back open, separated my sternum by hand, cleaned the edges, and installed 3 thin metal plates, and 31 screws. I'm sorry to report that the post-op pain from this "sternal repair" surgery is much worse than the initial AVR. Surgeon said this is because he had to shave back (create flaps) from my chest muscles, and stretch the flaps back over the installed metal plates. Tonight will be my 3rd night in hospital from second surgery, and I hope to be released maybe Sat or Sun. We've all got our complications and challenges on this surgery journey, it seems. Perhaps a few fortunate ones experience no challenges.
I'm scheduled for open-chest AGAIN this Tuesday to repair my non-fused sternum. I'm unhappy about this, but bc my sternum is now disjoint (one edge resting higher than the other), and it grinds and pops all the time, I'm quite desperate for the "repair". I'm praying for God's strength and peace for myself, and all others in this community.
Update: CT Scan confirmed my sternum did not heal (sternal non-union). Only solution is another surgery to install metal plates and screws; after removing the wires. I'm discouraged, but presently I'm incapacitated, so I have no choice. Has anyone had this procedure? Having metal plates installed to fix sternal, non-union?
Folks, I'm sorry to post "tough" news, but I'm 7 weeks post-op, and last night my sternum (or the wires holding it) seemed to fail. I now have uncomfortable clicking and popping at the lower base of my sternum, whenever I move or breath. It's as if that section is shifting back and forth and clicking and rubbing together. I have a CT scan Wed and meet with my surgeon. I'm so discouraged, bc I've just started to feel out of the woods re pain and fatigue. I don't know how or if this can be fixed, but I've searched this site, and there's a lot of similar discussion of "sternum clicking and popping" in prior years. I'd sure be grateful to hear anyone else's hope or experience regarding this complication. Thx.
btw, regarding "why" our aortic valves became stenotic. I provide a link below to the only research I've found that attempts to explain. Although the article is a dense, difficult read; it's of interest to me. However, it doesn't provide much evidence or advice toward preventing or slowing the calcification process.
For all of us with artificial valves, ... does anyone know where to find info on trying to keep the valve healthy and lasting as long as possible? Diet, Meds, Exercise (light or strenuous), supplements, stress reduction (is there such a thing?).
Hi Everyone. I was hoping to get some shared experience on post-op pain meds. I'm concerned bc I'm home 20 days now; but still require 10 mg Oxycodone, ibuprofen, and Tylenol every 4-6 hours for sternum pain. I thought I'd be well beyond the narcotivs by week three. I guess we're all different. I experiment with reducing the dosage or extending the times, but my sternum pain is still too great. My energy has improved remarkably and my resting heart rate has returned to 70 - very close to my pre-op rate. I'd welcome all thoughts. Best to all and God Bless. Craig