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Chest bone and back bone pain 2 yrs. after open heart surgery....
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Chest bone and back bone pain 2 yrs. after open heart surgery....


  My name is Charlene.  I am 57 years old.  Two years ago I had triple bypass surgery, and I am experiencing some problems.  When I move my arms around, I can sometimes literally "feel" the bones in my back "crunching" around, and sometimes in the front of my chest the same.  They told me after my openheart surgery to expect some pain or discomfort, and that it is usually more painful for women due to their breasts (the weight of them pulling down on the chest bones), but after 2 years, should I still be feeling this pain?  I am wondering if something could be wrong.  It is sometimes more than just disturbing or uncomfortable, it hurts!  Also, I have MVP, and they did not fix my mitral valve at the time of my open heart surgery due to the fact that they told me my valve was not damaged severely enough, but they would expect eventually it would need replaced.  Lately I have been starting to experience some mild chest pain, and then a feeling of "aching" in my left upper arm, and now in the past 2 weeks is even starting to radiate down my arm slightly towards my elbow.  A part of me wants to ignore this symptom, but to be truthful, the feeling in my left upper arm is making me nervous, and I am wondering if the cramping or pain in my chest, albeit relatively short-lived, and infrequent, combined with the pain or ache in my left arm, and my MVP, could it be time for a valve replacement?  Could these symptoms I am experiencing be related to my MVP?  I do have a cardiologist, but last year he told me that he felt completely comfortable with leaving me in the care of my primary physician.  The only problem is, my primary physician doesn't seem to be concerned enough about what I am experiencing.  This makes me nervous, and although I realize that you cannot diagnose me, I would be deeply appreciative of any advice, or light you could shed on the possibilities of my symptoms, and anything else you could share.  It would make a real difference to me to be informed better, especially as I feel that my doctor hasn't or won't shed any light for me.  Thank you very much.
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Dear Charlene,
Thank you for your question.  It is not uncommon for the breastbone to give patients that "crunching" sensation following surgery but I don't know what to think about the back??  I doubt that the mitral valve is causing your symptoms but you may be due for an echocardiogram and a check-up with your cardiologist.  Good luck.
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.





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