• Russ Russ
    December 29, 2008
    Life without a Sternum
    Russ Russ
    December 29, 2008

    I am 50 years old and I have recently gone through a double bypass surgery.  My  sternum was removed because of an infection and the area was covered by my peck muscle.  I cannot seem to locate information of "Life without a Sternum" on the net.  I am trying to research what I can expect as far as my quality of life, excercise, and life expectancy.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Martin Cane, M.D.
    Health Pro
    January 04, 2009
    Martin Cane, M.D.
    Health Pro
    December 29, 2008

    Russ,

     

    Thanks for your question.

     

    I have had several patients who have had their sternum removed because of a post-operative infection after bypass surgery.  Infection of the bone is very difficult to elliminate and often antibiotics are not enough, necessitating the removal of the infected bone.  The opening is usually covered with a muscle flap keeping it's blood supply intact.  If successful and the infection is totally elliminated, then your chances for a long, healthy life are very good.

     

    Things won't be totally normal.  This muscle flap might contract when you move your arm, and sometimes it may even be pulled in a bit when you take a deep breath, but as time goes by, you will adjust to these changes and they will become second nature.  New surgical techniques have improved the cosmetic appearance greatly over the years, and this might be less of a factor for you also. 

     

    In short, the effect on longevity is limited by your heart disease.  Take care of your heart by exercising, eating a healthy, low fat diet, and take your medication.  Your will do fine without a sternum.

     

    Best wishes.

     

    Martin Cane, M.D.

    • RAOCUB1
      March 03, 2013
      RAOCUB1
      March 03, 2013

      My chest constantly clicks and pulls inward. I will never be able to work and make anywhere near the money I was making. You say we can live a relatively normal life , what exactly does that mean if you are denied disability where do you get income from??? Pain is constant when the only work I can get is warehouse lifting and throwing and try driving a fork-lift for 8 or more hours with all the turning and pulling. There is nothing relatively normal about this. WHERE DOES THE INCOME COME FROM ???

       

       

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • lone sternum February 27, 2014
    lone sternum
    December 29, 2008

    I know what the below however normal life is not possible without the sternum. I cannot patty a hamburger or push, pull, lift anything over 10 Lbs. I am a big man and before I could lift a refridgerator and put it on my bcak and carry it off. Now it is hard for me to leave this work to someone else. When I use a snow blower it is s difficult becasue of pulling it around to go the other way. Lifting my grand kids I cannot  do. So thy must get ujp on my lap by them selves. Any questions please let me know I have 95 % of my sternum removed. Thank you.  Me :) 

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    • mrbbq82
      April 11, 2014
      mrbbq82
      April 11, 2014

      I have purchased a riding lawnmower that I have obtained a snoblower attachment with a snowcab so now I can look after my place year round

       

      I was sick of letting others do for me all the time as well but I have recently broken bones at the top of my right foot so I can;t stay out as long to play

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  • lone sternum February 27, 2014
    lone sternum
    December 29, 2008

    I know what the below however normal life is not possible without the sternum. I cannot patty a hamburger or push, pull, lift anything over 10 Lbs. I am a big man and before I could lift a refridgerator and put it on my bcak and carry it off. Now it is hard for me to leave this work to someone else. When I use a snow blower it is s difficult becasue of pulling it around to go the other way. Lifting my grand kids I cannot  do. So thy must get ujp on my lap by them selves. Any questions please let me know I have 95 % of my sternum removed. Thank you.  Me :) 

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  • Patrick Goodwin September 27, 2013
    Patrick Goodwin
    December 29, 2008
    I am 60 buy 2 years ago same thing I would love to talk to some one with the same problem I know it is not a good idea to put out personal info but I would really like to talk to some one the more time that goes by the more problems I am having . Patrickgoody@gmail.com READ MORE
  • mrbbq82 January 24, 2011
    mrbbq82
    December 29, 2008

    THERE is really NOTHING out there so a few of us have formed a support group

     

    you may want to try "sternectomy support" for more info

     

    Greg A Heenan

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    • RAOCUB1
      August 07, 2012
      RAOCUB1
      August 07, 2012

      I would love to join this group as the doctor answering the original question says the heart is the problem ands we will do fine without a sternum is BS . I can not work yet I also can not bget disability. I also an sure that doctor has his sternum. Try lifting andplaying any kind of rough house with your kids or grandkids than tell me you will be ok without the sternum.

       

       

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    • mrbbq82
      August 09, 2012
      mrbbq82
      August 09, 2012

      If you want we can talk anytime....I have a great long distance plan that I get 1,000  mins to use anytime tp places anywhere in North America http://sternectomysupport.webs.com/apps/members/?view=grid&q=&sort=LAST_LOGIN

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  • mrbbq82 January 24, 2011
    mrbbq82
    December 29, 2008

    THERE is really NOTHING out there so a few of us have formed a support group

     

    you may want to try "sternectomy support" for more info

     

    Greg A Heenan

    READ MORE
    • Barbara Cooke
      April 16, 2011
      Barbara Cooke
      April 16, 2011

      Please add me to your list I had 6 bypasses and was in hospital 3 and 1half momths. Had my sternum removed and have variious problems I would like to talk to some one that has gone through simmiler things thank you

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    • mrbbq82
      July 10, 2011
      mrbbq82
      July 10, 2011

      If you want feel free to email me a number mrbbq82@hotmail.com 519-748-1158

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    • John
      July 22, 2012
      John
      July 22, 2012
      I also had my sternum removed Jan. 2012 and was in hospital 5 months. Mitral valve replaced first. Since then I have had problems with fluid building up in my chest and having to have it drained often has become a concern. When it fills Up my breathing is effected and the clicking gets worse. The fluid buildup is a mystery. I had a drain for 2 months, the doctor removed it thinking my body would handle the fluid, but it's not working. Have you had any fluid problems? Guess we will always have clicking. I think I should be happy I'm still here to worry about my problems.p READ MORE
    • John
      July 22, 2012
      John
      July 22, 2012
      I also had my sternum removed Jan. 2012 and was in hospital 5 months. Mitral valve replaced first. Since then I have had problems with fluid building up in my chest and having to have it drained often has become a concern. When it fills Up my breathing is effected and the clicking gets worse. The fluid buildup is a mystery. I had a drain for 2 months, the doctor removed it thinking my body would handle the fluid, but it's not working. Have you had any fluid problems? Guess we will always have clicking. I think I should be happy I'm still here to worry about my problems. READ MORE
    • mrbbq82
      August 09, 2012
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