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

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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.
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