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The breastbone or sternum is a bone in the middle of the chest and serves to protect important organs in the chest cavity, namely the heart and lungs. However, like any other bone in the body, the sternum can be injured, causing it to crack or break
Injury to the sternum can cause pain when breathing, especially when taking a deep breath, coughing, or laughing. In addition to making you uncomfortable, this complaint can also hinder daily activities. In order for the recovery to take place properly and quickly, the sternum injury needs to be treated in the right way.
Understanding the Causes of Spine Injury
Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of sternum injuries, there are also other causes that you should be aware of.
Injury to the sternum can occur when a person falls from a height, or has an accident while doing high-impact sports. Not only that, breastbone injuries can also be experienced as a complication of artificial respiration or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Injury to the sternum is more prone to occur in the elderly, postmenopausal women, people with osteoporosis, and people who take steroids for a long time.
How to Overcome Spine Injury
Injury to the sternum usually heals within a few weeks. However, the recovery period can be longer if the injury is severe enough. For example, when the sternum is broken, requiring bed rest, splinting, or surgery.
During the recovery period, there are some things you can do to reduce pain and reduce the risk of chest infection:
- From time to time, take slow and regular deep breaths.
- Do not hold your cough or take cough medicine, so that phlegm does not accumulate in the lungs.
- Hold your chest when coughing to reduce pain.
- Limit the range of motion and avoid doing strenuous activities.
- Give a cold compress to the injured breastbone area to reduce pain.
- Take painkillers as directed by the doctor.
Injury to the sternum usually requires hospitalization, so the doctor can monitor your condition. After being judged safe, you are only allowed to go home.
Even so, you need to go back to the doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, fever, palpitations, or a cough with yellow, green, or blood-stained phlegm.Likewise, if the pain does not go away after eight weeks. This is to anticipate the occurrence of dangerous complications.