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Forum Name: Ischemic Heart Disease

Question: Stabbing chest pain + feeling faint


 BMB - Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:11 am

I have had chest pain off and on my whole life and just over a year ago they discovered a 2” ancient schwanoma in my chest cavity along the spine. The dr said he had never seen someone so happy to have a tumor (I thought this would be the end of my chest pain issues). I had surgery just over a year ago to remove a tumor from my spine. They took out rib tips t3.t4 to get it out. Lately I have been having episodes of stabbing chest pain in the center of the chest, sometimes with left arm involvement. Three weeks ago I had such an episode that lasted for about 45min and the following day I had alot of soreness in my chest and upper abdomen. ER said I was fine. Yesterday I had stabbing pain with sweating. The stabbing pain lasted only 1min but I felt like crap the rest of the day with a few random stabs from time to time. There was no pressure or tightness, but it did make me light headed. This morning I am sore around the chest and upper abdomen again and still feel kind of out of it. In the last few days I have had occasional stabbing pain in the left upper inner thigh area.
I have had chest pain off and on my whole life, but not this severe and it did not have the light headed crappy feeling. I am 6'1" and 238lbs. My cholesterol is well controlled on crestor 10mg. I do not get much exercise, and have been somewhat afraid to following the surgery and chest pains. My diet is not great. I have had alot of indigestion lately and sometimes it feels like the food gets stuck above my stomach. I have had numerous times where I felt light headed and week without chest pain involvement. The last few months have been miserable. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed May 13, 2009 9:45 pm

User avatar Hi there --

While I would of course want to have anything scary ruled out up front, your pain doesn't sound much like it's cardiac-related. It of course is possible, but stabbing pain is rarely cardiac related, and soreness and tenderness afterward is even less like any sort of known cardiac syndrome. Again, this does not mean there is no heart disease, only that they symptoms would be very atypical. I still think at least a cursory rule out should be done, however, with EKG and echocardiogram. You do carry some risk factors, including sedentary lifestyle, overweight, and a borderline family history in your father having had a heart attack at what is now a relatively young age. Once this hurdle has been cleared you'll need to be seen by a neurologist, as the most likely cause, assuming no structural heart problems are found, is a nerve issue. You definitely fit the profile for this.

It does also sound as though you may have an upper GI problem, and this could also be contributory to the symptoms. First things first, though. Cardiology consult first, then maybe an upper GI exam, then most likely a trip to see a neurologist, in that order.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please follow up with us as needed.

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