A bruised sternum (or sternum contusion) occurs after an impact to the sternum or breast bone. This most frequently occurs after road traffic accidents, although sports with hard balls or rackets etc can also impact the sternum, resulting in bruising.
Symptoms of a Bruised Sternum
- Pain on the breast bone following impact.
- Tenderness over the front of the chest.
- Pain on breathing.
- Pain on sneezing and coughing etc.
- Bruising may appear.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- A doctor will perform a full examination and may order X-rays.
- X-rays can confirm that there are no fractures to the sternum or the ribs.
- Treatment of a bruised sternum requires rest for 2-4 weeks to allow the bone to heal.
- Ice and anti-inflammatory medication may be advised by the doctor to help ease pain and inflammation.