Post-sternotomy pain syndrome following cardiac surgery: Case report

Bruno Bordoni, Fabiola Marelli, Bruno Morabito, Beatrice Sacconi, Paolo Severino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 2 million people undergo sternotomy worldwide for heart surgery each year, and many develop post-sternotomy pain syndrome (PSPS) which persists in the anterior thorax. In some patients, PSPS lasts for many years or suddenly reappears a long time after the sternotomy. The exact etiology of PSPS is unknown. This article presents a case report of a patient with a diagnosis of PSPS (after cardiac surgery 4 years prior) for whom an osteopathic approach was used, which successfully eliminated the pain. In a previous study, we demonstrated that this osteopathic procedure could reduce sternal pain associated with a recent surgical wound. Further efforts are needed to understand the reasons for PSPS. In light of new scientific data, these osteopathic techniques could contribute to a multidisciplinary approach to solve the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1169
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2017


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Chronic pain
  • Fascia
  • Osteopathic
  • Post-sternotomy pain syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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