Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bridport, Dorset
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Shortened version from discharge notes.
Returning to everyday activities. Lifting, domestic and gardening activities.
Your breastbone (sternum) is divided during the operation and takes about three months to heal. During this time it is important that you do not put too much strain through your chest or shoulders.
You must avoid heavy lifting, pushing and pulling for at least six weeks, you can then gradually increase amounts lifted. This means you should not be carrying heavy bags or saucepans, lifting young children, vacuuming, digging or mowing the lawn.
As a guide you can lift half a kettle of water, or equivalent, with one arm, so you can make a drink, boil an egg and so on. If you feel able, you can do light housework, such as washing up and dusting. You can start light gardening activities, such as weeding and pruning as soon as this comfortable.
When possible use both hands to lift an object (to split the load) and carry the item close to your body.
If you usually walk a dog on a lead, you will need to ask someone to accompany you to do this for the first six weeks.
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