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AIM OF THE STUDY: To determine the incidence of sternal fracture as an isolated injury as well as those which presented
with concomitant injuries, and compare them in order to manage them more effectively. The Greek and International
Literature related to the subject was also reviewed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: From 1984 to 2002 the Authors treated 134 patients with sternal fracture in the Department
of Thoracic Surgery of their hospital, 59 males and 45 females, age from 17 to 84 years.
Ninety patients had isolated sternal fracture and 44 sustained in addition fractured ribs, flail chest, pneumo-haemothorax,
pneumo-haemomediastinum, some of them experienced respiratory failure, vertebral fractures, myocardial infarction,
heart contusion, pericarditis, head injuries, fractures of upper lower limbs and intraperitoneal bleeding.
twelve patients were admitted in ITU and 4 with multiple trauma were fatally injured. Aortic tears or ruptures didn’t
occur in any of our patients.
Sternal fracture as an isolated injury has a better prognosis compared to those with associated injuries.
CONCLUSIONS: The management of sternal fracture is usually conservative with a good outcome, provided early diagnosis
and treatment of concomitant injuries is offered from a well-trained and experienced medical team.