Sternal Fracture Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Oct 24, 2022
  • Author: Scott Felten, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
  • Print

Diagnostic Considerations

Sternal fractures are rare. They tend to behave clinically such as avulsion fracture injuries to the capsuloligamentous structure of the inferior sternoclavicular joint. For high-demand athletes, early identification, surgical reduction, and fixation are likely to achieve the best outcomes. [20]

Sternal fracture may be associated with major and serious injuries. Patients with isolated sternal fracture with displacement  greater than 0.5 cm and hematoma are likely to require cardiac consultation. [21]

No significant association has been observed between the depth of sternal fracture displacement and blunt cardiac injury. Further evaluation and management for blunt cardiac injury should be reserved in the absence of additional symptoms or findings. [22]


Differential Diagnoses