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Las Vegas, NV
A 67-year-old female asked:

My husband had open heart surgery 2 months ago and has complained about a sore left shoulder ever since. is this from the surgery? shoulder was x-rayed and no broken bones.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Phil Chen
Family Medicine 26 years experience
Need to see a doctor: This could be related to the heart surgery or other problems, such as neck problem, shoulder problem or refer pain from surgery, etc. You need to follow-up with your doctor to get further check-up.
Dr. Robert Binford
Thoracic Surgery 38 years experience
Probably : Often when doing bypass surgery we use the left mammary artery which requires us to pull up on the left side to see it. This could cause pain. When spreading the edges of the sternum apart it can put stress on the shoulder, also. Sometimes subconsciously he maybe trying to protect the breastbone and can pull muscles in other areas like neck and shoulder (when coughing sneezing etc).

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Last updated Jan 13, 2021

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