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Avatar universal

Tripple by-pass surgery....chest muscle flap.....

  What I want to know is when will the grinding and pain go away....my
  brestbone is in free float....The reason I have a muscle flap is because
  after the heart surgery I was doing fine until I went into a caughing
  spell and the wires broke....I was rushed back to surgery and given a
  muscle flap by a plastic surgeon....where the wires pulled throught, the
  bone fragments were trimmed off muscle stuffed and stretched and I was
  sowed Up...The plastic surgeon said that usually when they used the muscle
  flap was because the person had become infedted and the wires had to be
  removed and the bore/cartledge was trimmed back about one half inch on each
  side....so therefore it never rubbed....but mine was never trimmed back
  so therefore every move I make it rubs....the pain and stiffiness is so
  bad in the morning when I get up....I want to ask aslo was there any other
  way I could have been closed up....more wires, etc....besides the muscle
  Flap.  I am taking for the pain HYDROCODONE 7.5-APAP  750 sub for: VICODIN
  ES.....Is it habit forming and how severe...
  Also could another operation be done to replace the wires and undo this
  mess....or will I have to suffer the rest of my life....if so then they
  have moved me 20 years ahead....instead of 54 sometimes I feel, in the
  morning 74......Thanks for listening....if you know of anyone who can help
  let me know.....Joseph T. Black
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Avatar universal

Dear Joe, thank you for your question.  This is an unusual situation because as your plastic surgeon indicated, a muscle flap procedure is usually done after the sternum becomes infected and needs to be debrided.  In your case, it sounds like the sternum bones are rubbing against eachother to cause you severe pain.  There may be other options for this problem like trimming back the bone edges or reinserting the sternal wires, but you will need to see a cardiac surgeon to determine this.  We have many excellent cardiac surgeons here at the Cleveland Clinic who have dealt with this problem before, so if you can come to Cleveland, I suggest you call the number listed below for an appointment in cardiac surgery.  The medications you're taking for pain relief are narcotics, and could potentially become habit forming.  However, you shouldn't just try to tolerate severe pain so use the medications as they are prescribed.  If you have further questions, then I suggest that you speak with your cardiologist.
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.  Good luck!
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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