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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 2, February 2003
pages: 105-106

Isolated Sternal Fracture - A Benign Condition?


    Background: Fractures of the stemum may be associated with major injuries to thoracic organs, with serious consequences.

    Objective: To assess the hospital course of patients diagnosed with isolated sternal fracture.

    Methods: We reviewed 55 medical records of patients who were admitted with isolated sternal fracture to the emergency department during the period from January 1990 through August 1999.

    Results: Fifty-one patients were involved in motor vehicle accidents, and the remainder sustained the injury as a result of a fall. Lateral chest X-ray upon admission was diagnostic in the majority of these patients (n=53). Electrocardiography (n=52) was abnormal in four patients – old myocardial infarction (n=1), non-specific ST-T changes (n=3). Cardiac enzymes (creatine-kinase-MB, n=42) were pathologically elevated in five patients. Echocardiography, performed in patients with ECG[1] abnormalities and/or elevated myocardial enzymes (n=7), was normal in these patients as well as in another 18 patients. There were no intensive care unit admissions or arrhythmias during the hospital stay, which ranged from 6 hours to 6 days (mean 2.3 ± 1.3 days, median 2 days).

    Conclusion: Our findings support the view that patients with isolated sternal fracture, who have no abnormality in ECG and cardiac enzymes during the early hours after injury, are expected to have a benign course and can be discharged home from the emergency room within the first 24 hours.

    [1] ECG = electrocardiograph

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