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What does recovery from a fractured sternum involve?

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Quick Answer

Recovery from a fractured sternum involves putting the pieces back into position, avoiding strenuous activities, drinking fluids and taking several deep breaths a day, advises Scott and White Healthcare in Texas. The ribs should only be bound under specific instruction from a doctor.

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What does recovery from a fractured sternum involve?
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Full Answer

Often, a fractured sternum requires no medical treatment unless the pieces are out of position or other organs have been damaged, says Scott and White Healthcare. Because the ribs are attached to the sternum, a fractured sternum can result in fractured ribs, making breathing difficult and requiring treatment. These ribs can also be a danger to the heart and lungs. A patient then needs to be kept and monitored at a hospital.

Recovery from this injury mostly includes resting and taking over-the-counter medications for pain, explains Scott and White Healthcare. The most important aspect of home care recovery involves avoiding any activities that put pressure on or cause pain to the fracture. The patient needs to drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy meals to prevent possible complications and avoid side effects from pain medications. Coughing and breathing deeply often throughout the day is recommended to prevent pneumonia. If the individual experiences difficulty breathing, nausea, heart palpitations or radiating pain, emergency care should be sought immediately.

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