Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
164 Doctors are Online

How strong is the sternum after heart surgery? Advice on exercises to strengthen chest structure

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 3795 Questions
How strong is the sternum after heart surgery. I am 16 years out of surgery. Can I withstand a wing chun punch to the sternum? What exercises can I do to strengthen the chest structure?
Posted Fri, 13 Jul 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

One of the primary concerns after Open Heart Surgery is the stability of the sternum, also called the breastbone, which is divided during surgery so that the Cardiac Surgeon has access to the heart.
 The sternum is a long and flat bone lying vertically in the mid-anterior chest where the ribs XXXXXXX over the heart. It is the bone that is located when performing CPR, as it lies directly over the heart. The edges that are rejoined when 'closing' the sternum at the end of Open Heart Surgery are not very thick, therefore sternal precautions which promote bone stability are crucial for proper sternal healing.
By about 6 weeks,the sternum is reasonably well healed and definitely by another 12 months it is well and truly healed.
Your sternum is strong enough to withstand the punch.
There is no exercises specific for strengthening of sternum and in fact it doesn't need any.
I hope to have answered your query however you may revert to me for any other query.
Best of luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Doctor Now

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor