I mentioned in yesterday’s post regarding sternum injuries that I would update you once I learned what exactly it is that I did to my own. I spoke with my doctor’s office today and was informed that nothing of tremendous concern showed up on my chest x-rays, therefore my sternum itself and the surrounding muscle tissue are deeply bruised.
Now that I know for certain what I am dealing with, I thought it might be useful to share with all of you how to go about treating a bruised sternum, as well as the symptoms that present themselves with this type of injury.
From what I have read and have been told, the symptoms for a bruised sternum versus a fractured or broken one are quite similar. Intense pain at the site of injury with minimal radiating pain to other areas of the body, bruising, swelling, and a lot of discomfort and tenderness are common symptoms for both sternum bruising or a fracture/break. Oh, and difficulty breathing. The biggest differentiation between bruising and a break is that pain pretty well remains only at the site of trauma for a break/fracture, whereas for bruising it has the potential to radiate a bit more, for example throughout the chest, into the back, neck, and shoulders, which is what I’m experiencing.
As for treatment, there really isn’t much to do for an injured sternum apart from resting, icing the injury, and refraining from lifting anything heavy. If a break or fracture to the sternum has resulted in bone fragments piercing other internal organs, surgery may be required to remove these pieces.
I’ve learned a lot about the sternum since injuring my own, but let me tell ya, speaking from experience, the pain is a real big bitch, so avoid injuring it if possible, my friends.