That's obviously a long time to still be having pain in that particular area.
Has he had the appropriate diagnostic imaging performed to see if the sternum (breastbone) has healed properly (under normal conditions, no complications, it takes about 6-8 weeks) or the possibility of one or more sternum wires fracturing or breaking?
Various problems may/can occur anytime after open-heart surgery, from the annoying though benign (harmless), such as a clicking noise or sensation to the serious to life-threatening, such as extreme pain with or without swelling.
It is an often overlooked factor that no two individuals are exactly alike, thus the response to treatment, and recovery/healing time, varies (sometimes greatly) from one individual to another.
As deemed applicable, post-heart surgery, some patients may need to see pain management specialist, a doctor who has specialty training in management of acute (occurring suddenly), and chronic (occurring over a long period of time) pain.
ALL types of pain are treated. The goal of treatment is reducing pain to the greatest extent possible. Pain management specialists usually see patients by referral only.
Most important, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is just a clever way of temporarily circumventing the problem (atherosclerosis), as it doesn't address the disease process and what drives the progression.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (may/can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration and even sme regression) condition requiring a continuum of care.
Best of luck to your husband and you down the road of life.
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Coronary Artery Disease
CAD is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have CAD, it is important to take care.....
This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or surgery to improve blood flow to the heart../It is up to you to take steps..... Recognize the symptoms...
Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke
Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary and peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second and thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).
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It is uncommon (although not impossible) to have post-surgical pain that is severe 1.5 years after surgery. I would definitely recommend discussing with his doctor whether further evaluation for ischemia (blockage in a coronary artery), heartburn, or anything else might be appropriate.
I had the same operation 4 years ago and my sternum still hurts. I have tryed exersise and that makes it worse, mine did click for 4 months after surgury and was told that the pain would go away in a year. I have seen several Dr. but like you they have no idea why or what to do about it. I have come to realise that the pain is the price I pay to live and accept the fact that it will not go away. Sometimes it just hurts other times it burns like it is on fire or there is like being stuck with a needles. Wish you the best but you may be out of luck on finding a fix.
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