Posted By Hank Eyring on April 24, 1999 at 18:11:38
It has been 22 days since my aortic valve was replaced with a St. Jude mechanical valve. My question relates to the recovery process and the timeline of it all.
Two things are bugging me (besides the pain). My sternum keeps "popping" when I twist my upper body in any way. When will this stop and is it harmful? I assume that the "popping" is the two halves of my sternum rubbing together. If it keeps popping, does that mean that it is not healing?
Lastly, I am six feet two inches tall and used to walk upright like most humans. Now it seems that I am stuck in this hunched position with shoulders forward and chest sucked in. When I try to put shoulders back and chest out like I should, it hurts very bad at the incision and feels like it is ripping open from the inside out. I have never seen any sutures so I assume they are all under the surface. How strong is the whole thing and is it ok to stretch my chest out a bit as I struggle to stand up straight once again? Is there any way to speed up the process?
Thanks for any help you can provide...
Re: Aortic Valve Replacement - Surgery Recovery Todd 4/26/1999
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