Sternal precautions are a considerable part of the recovery and healing process after heart surgery. However, many patients have a lot of questions about sternal precautions--and that's great. To help patients take an active role in their healing and understand what they need to do, we're explaining exactly what sternal precautions are, why they're essential, and how you can stick with them.
There are a lot of options for staying safe and comfortable after heart surgery, from plenty of rest to Heart Hugger sternal support devices. However, without sternal precautions, none of those other options would be nearly as effective. Here's everything you need to know about sternal precautions--and how to make it a habit to follow them.
Why are sternal precautions important?
Sternal precautions are essentially guidelines from doctors that help you protect your body after surgery. If you stretch your breastbone too much or overexert yourself, the bone can begin to separate--which can lead to infection and other complications. Because of this, it's best to follow sternal precautions to the letter.
What do sternal precautions look like?
Some examples of sternal precautions are:
- not lifting more than five pounds,
- not reaching to your back,
- not reaching out to your sides,
- not reaching straight up,
- and not pushing or pulling.
How can sternal precautions become a habit?
At first, it can be challenging to remember not to do things that you've always done--so it's crucial to make sternal precautions a habit. One tip is to work with a physical therapist who will teach you new, more comfortable ways to move, like how to sit down on a bed, walk up the stairs, and doing your daily routine (like brushing your teeth).
Want to learn more about sternal precautions? Curious about Heart Hugger? Please contact us today for all the help you need.