Sternum Fractures, A Painful But Often Diagnosed Accidental Injury
The sternum is one of the many body parts that you never think about unless something is wrong with it. It is one of the longest bones in the body, extending down the front of the upper torso from the clavicles, also known as collarbones, to the first two pairs of ribs. Because of the essential role it plays in protecting the heart and lungs, it is a very strong bone, and difficult to injure. Therefore, if you suffer a sternum fracture, you might not receive a diagnosis until you have been suffering from symptoms for a long time. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of sternum fractures. If you have been diagnosed with a sternum fracture or other serious injury after a car accident, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
How Do Sternum Fractures Happen?
Traumatic injury is the only cause of sternum fracture in otherwise healthy people. It can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, an accidental fall, or a violent assault, among other causes of traumatic injury. In car accidents, sternum fractures sometimes occur when a car traveling at high speed collides with another vehicle of a stationary object, and the seatbelt prevents the person from being ejected from the vehicle. In other words, it is the less bad of two possible outcomes, because it is much less severe than the injuries the person would have suffered if he or she had not been wearing a seatbelt. Most collisions where the occupants of the vehicle are wearing seatbelts do not result in sternum fractures. Sternum fractures can also occur when the person’s chest collides with the steering column, but now that most cars have airbags, this type of injury is less common.
Symptoms of a Sternum Fracture
Symptoms of sternum fracture may include pain and swelling at the site of the injury. For a long time after the injury occurs, you may feel pain when you take a deep breath. When touching the site of the injury, you may be able to feel that the bone is irregularly shaped. The surest way to diagnose a sternum fracture is by X-ray imaging.
Treatment for Sternum Fractures
Only the most severe sternum fractures require hospitalization and surgery. In most cases, the treatment for a sternum fracture is simply to let it heal and to manage pain during the healing process. This requires limiting movement of the affected bone, which may mean avoiding certain activities or body positions.
Getting a Medical Examination After a Car Accident Is Less Costly Than Not Getting One
Sternum fractures are just one of many kinds of painful injuries that are not visible to the casual observer and where the pain may not start immediately. Therefore, it is important to get examined at a hospital emergency room immediately after an accident, even if you feel like you are not seriously injured.
Let Us Help You Today
The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you have suffered a sternum fracture or other injury in a car accident. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.