Rib Pain after surgery

By harley64 Latest Reply 2014-06-24 20:37:11 -0500
Started 2012-12-13 21:55:35 -0600

I seem not to be able to get any answers about the rib pain I have had shortly after my by-pass surgery, can anyone help with this? I've seen ER doctors twice, my primary doctor and heart surgeon who did my surgery. The only answer I have gotten so far is that it's the nerves in between the rins. I have had a hard time explaining where the pain is and how long it last because it varies. I noticed it after sneezing a few months after my surgery, it felt like the rib popped out of place. Now I have to put Linacaine on it to help numb it up and keep it relaxed then go for an injection, are they just telling me it's me and there's nothing there????

10 replies

CGoss 2014-06-24 20:37:11 -0500 Report

I have had the same problem. I was told that it was normal. My surgery was 4 yrs ago. I still have pain and discomfort, but no one can tell me why.

mr.awesome 2013-01-24 18:26:16 -0600 Report

I don't think doctors would lie to you…

harley64 2013-02-09 21:14:01 -0600 Report

Oh I wasn't trying to say they was lying to me, it's just the first doctor I seen about it made me feel like I was imagining the pain because I shouldn't be having pain there after my surgery. Sorry if it was looking like I was saying I was lied to.

mr.awesome 2013-01-24 18:25:03 -0600 Report

I think its because sometimes when they do chest or heart surgery to get to the heart they have to open the ribs basically like a break but not really but they also stitch the ribs up which is unusual because it's a bone…sometimes you have to hold a pillow over your chest when u cough.

harley64 2013-02-09 21:16:18 -0600 Report

Oh yes I remember the pillow holding when coughing, wasn't always easy to do, especially the first few days after surgery and I was awake more. The way I was told the only place they put stitches was at the top where the sternum(?) is

openhearts1110 2012-12-20 15:44:33 -0600 Report

i am having that sort of pain as well and also had it after my first two surgeries. i was told it was the nerves as well and because under the ribs the ones that dont connect to the sternum they have only cartlidge and will take alot longer to heal then the others. it feels like its brusied kinda bad.

HeartHawk 2012-12-21 00:39:59 -0600 Report


Good to hear from you again! Hope you are well. Thanks so much for the firsthand experience. That is what makes this place so great! Anything new going on?


HeartHawk 2012-12-17 20:47:43 -0600 Report


Yeah, that sort of pain is not unusual but you are right to pay attention to it and discuss it with all your docs. It is not just you. Even if they did minimally invasive surgery the rib area is going to suffer significant trauma.

You would like to see improvement in 3 months but six months would not be unusual - even nine months!

However, I would suggest getting a second opinion. Sometimes the pain can be an indication of something that was was either done improperly or that did not heal properly. If the second doc gives you a clean bill of health than at least your mind will be at ease - which can only help your body!


harley64 2013-02-09 21:12:04 -0600 Report

Well an update on the situation, none of the doctors ruled out the surgery. One of the doctors did say where the pain was located should not have had anything to do with the heart surgery, but referred me to a pain doctor who also said with the procedure done, it may cause nerves to flare at any given time and he quite sure that's what happen with me. Had the injection done and oh boy, I don't want to go thru that again very painful.