Sternal Fractures

sternum fracture

Fractures of the sternum (breastbone), are fractures to the bone located in the center of the chest. These injuries usually occur due to a significant blunt trauma to the chest. There are two types of sternal fractures, direct and indirect.

A direct fracture occurs due to a direct blow to the anterior chest wall, resulting in posterior displacement of the distal sternal segment. An indirect fracture is a hyperflexion injury to the sternum, causing posterior displacement of the proximal sternal segment. When indirect sternal fractures occur, it is important for the physician to also observe for a vertebral fracture. A CT scan is useful to assess patients with sternal fractures and associated spinal fractures.

 

indirect
Indirect Fracture

 

 

direct
Direct Fracture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A direct fracture occurs due to a direct blow to the anterior chest wall, resulting in posterior displacement of the distal sternal segment. An indirect fracture is a hyperflexion injury to the sternum, causing posterior displacement of the proximal sternal segment. When indirect sternal fractures occur, it is important for the physician to also observe for a vertebral fracture. A CT scan is useful to assess patients with sternal fractures and associated spinal fractures.

CT scan

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