An injury caused to the sternum can be dangerous and lead to many complications. Since the sternum is close to the heart and lungs, injury of this bone should be diagnosed and treated with utmost care. The broken sternum symptoms and signs are enlisted in the article below.
The sternum is a bone which connects with ribs and thereby protects internal organs like heart and lungs. Injury caused to this bone, most probably through accidents causes a fracture which results into different symptoms. The broken sternum symptoms are many a time confused with that of heart attack. Understanding the differences in symptoms which result from these two conditions is therefore, important. Let us get into the details of sternum fracture symptoms through this article.
Symptoms of a Broken Sternum
There are many different signs and symptoms exhibited by those who have a fractured sternum. Amongst these symptoms, crepitus is the important one. Crepitus is the term used for a sound made when rough surfaces (in this case, bones) rub over each other. The condition of a fractured or cracked sternum can also be ascertained from the signs and symptoms mentioned below.
The sign of swelling can be observed at the sight of injury. Soft tissues of body parts that surround the sternum become swollen. Tissues that mostly get affected by such injuries include the intercoastal and pectoral muscles; this can also result into a bruised sternum. Inflammation of tissues that surround the sternum is a condition that occurs along with swelling and bruising.
One of the symptoms of broken sternum is observed in the form of deformed chest. A deformity in this bone is diagnosed by means of palpation. Fracture of sternum bone often causes damage to the other body parts connected with it.
Pain in the Chest Region
The sign of chest pain is commonly observed in the case of sternum fracture. This problem of pain in chest shows up along with many other problems in the form of damage caused to surrounding body organs.
The problem that occurs in breathing due to sternum fracture is referred to as dyspnea. This condition is also known as Shortness of Breath (SOB). Along with breathing problem, abnormalities are also observed in the rhythms of heart. The cardiac enzymes could be released into the blood due to the injury caused by sternum fracture. Testing of blood samples is carried out in order to check the levels of cardiac enzymes.
Causes of Broken Symptoms
Accidents are the most common causes of the sternum bone getting fractured. Drivers who don’t wear a seat belt are at a greater risk of getting injured. The chances of sternum getting fractured due to accidents is quite high. Wearing a seat belt should reduce the number of injuries that result into sternum bone fracture.
Treatment of Sternum Fracture
The fractures of bones other than that of sternum are not a major cause of concern. Sternum fractures are considered important because, the injury can harm sensitive body organs like heart and lungs. Such type of fractures should therefore be treated carefully. Diagnosis of these fractures is carried out by means of X-rays. If necessary, the procedure of CT scanning also is used for diagnosis. Use of pain medication is an important part of sternum fracture treatment. Such type of treatment is used for those fractures which cause a lot of pain.
The dislocation of sternum joints to an extreme degree can be really painful. Along with the use of pain medications, surgery is also performed to fix the bones. The broken sternum recovery time varies from person to person. Of course, the degree of damage caused to the sternum bone is one of the important factors to consider. However, on an average, the time required for healing ranges from 3-4 months.
The broken sternum symptoms enlisted in this article make us aware of what can be expected after a sternum injury. It is not necessary that all the above mentioned symptoms are observed in a patient with this fracture. The observance of different signs and symptoms depend on the degree to which sternum bone and the surrounding organs are affected.