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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Swollen Sternum from fall

 smjann1 - Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:17 pm

I am female, 37 years old, in good health. 5 weeks ago, I fell out of a bath tub. I had a good amount of pain in my shoulders and chest. I had x-rays done which did not show any fractures or breaks. However, my sternum has been extremely swollen the entire time. My doctor prescribed anti-inflammatories and said the musculature and ligaments had been traumatized and should heal. After 5 weeks, although the pain has eased, my sternum is still swollen to the point that it looks like the size of an orange on my chest. Is it normal that it should still be this swollen? There has been no improvement in the swelling after 2-3 weeks of anti-inflammatories, and ice treatment. If anything, the swelling has increased. Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:25 pm

User avatar Hi Smjann1,

I'd recommend you see your doctor about this again. It may still be simply healing from a very bad injury. It may also be that there was a fracture there that was not seen initially on x-rays. Occasionally, fractures that do not move the bone any may not show up on the initial x-rays. They subsequently become visible as a bone callous forms for healing (which subsequently goes away after weeks or months).

Having your doctor reevaluate this will be sure that everything is still healing well.

Best wishes.

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