Sternal fractures: A red flag or a red herring?

Aviel Roy-Shapira, Isaac Levi, Jelinus Khoda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Scopus citations


    We reviewed the records of 28 patients with sternal fractures. Seat belts were used by 79% of the patients. Pain and tenderness were the most common complaints. Forty-six percent of patients had associated injuries, which were all evident in the emergency room. Seven patients had rib fractures, six had myocardial contusion, and five had pulmonary contusions. The associated injuries determined the outcome: 2 patients died, 2 required rehabilitation, the rest recovered uneventfully. Mean length of stay (LOS) was 8.17 ± 1.78 days, but the median LOS was 4 days, and 75% stayed a week or less. The sternal fracture was treated with rest and analgesics. We conclude that sternal fractures are benign and do not require special treatment or an expensive work-up. It is possible that the seat belt and the sternal fracture absorb a substantial part of the energy transfer, and prevent greater damage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-61
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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