Symptoms of a Fractured Sternum

If you’ve recently been in an accident and you’re experiencing pain in your chest alongside other unusual symptoms, you may be wondering whether you’ve fractured your sternum. A sternum fracture is a serious medical event, and knowing its most common symptoms can help you determine when it’s time to speak with a doctor about your injuries. 

What Is a Fractured Sternum?

The sternum is a large, flat bone that runs down the center of your chest. The first seven sets of ribs connect to the front of the sternum, and at the top, your sternum connects to your collarbone. A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. As such, having a fractured sternum means that some part of it is either broken or cracked. 

Since the sternum plays a central role in mobility, it’s easy to see how fracturing it can have a serious impact on your mobility. That said, it can also impact the function of organs in the chest areas, like the lungs.   

Common Symptoms of a Fractured Sternum

Pain in the chest, collarbone area, or upper ribs is the most common symptom associated with a fractured sternum. After certain accidents, it might come on suddenly and at an extreme degree. However, fractures aren’t always immediately evident. A small crack in the bone is more likely to result in a dull ache that becomes more painful over time. 

Besides pain, some of the most common symptoms of a fractured sternum include the following: 

  • Bruising in the chest area
  • Tenderness or discomfort in the center of the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reduced mobility

Around 20% of people who fracture their sternum experience difficulty breathing and other symptoms related to respiratory function. If you believe you may have fractured your sternum and are experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, difficulty taking a full breath, or painful breathing, you should seek emergency medical attention. 

Even if you’re breathing normally, it’s important to recognize that a fractured sternum is a serious medical issue. With medical treatment, sternum fractures typically take a few months to heal fully. However, failing to promptly seek a medical diagnosis from a healthcare professional can lead to further complications. 

If you don’t allow a doctor to examine your sternum and provide medical treatment, you risk the bone not healing properly. This can bring about long-term complications like chronic pain and reduced strength and mobility. 

What To Do If You Think Your Sternum Is Fractured

A sternum fracture can occur in many different ways, but accidents are often the most direct cause. 

With that in mind, accident types that often result in a sternum fracture include things like:

If you believe your sternum is fractured, you should see a doctor immediately. Attempting to ignore a sternum fracture is a bad idea. And engaging in activities that might make the injury worse, like returning to work or playing sports, is even more threatening. 

No one wants to have to deal with a sternum fracture. However, getting prompt medical care is the best way to ensure your injuries are adequately cared for and your recovery period isn’t any longer than it needs to be. 

Don’t Wait To Get Help With Personal Injury Compensation

In addition to the pain and suffering you may face following an accident that fractures your sternum, such an injury can also take a serious toll on your finances. Fortunately, many types of accidents that lead to a fractured sternum also leave you eligible for personal injury compensation

Don’t ignore the symptoms of a fractured sternum. Contact a doctor for a proper diagnosis and then speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether your injuries qualify you for compensation. The sooner you act, the more able you are to protect your health and finances.

Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258