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Monday, June 02, 2008 Pamela Sullivan, Community Member, asks

Q: What do they do for a broken sternum?

Was in a head-on collision. I have a displaced/depressed/transverse fracture of the upper sternum.  Ringing of the ears.

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Answers (1)
Dr. Thomas, Health Pro
6/18/08 5:16pm


The most serious problems related to a sternum fracture are typically the associated internal injuries that may result from a force strong enough to fracture the sternum, including injury to the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels in the chest. Even if you didn't suffer additional injuries, generalized muscle pain and spasm from the degree of trauma you've experienced will take time to resolve.

Fractures of the sternum are often treated with only pain medication, as they typically heal on their own without complications, and because splinting the chest could restrict breathing. A recent study suggested suggests surgical fixation may speed up the healing process, but this practice isn't the current standard of care.

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By Pamela Sullivan, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 06/02/08