Did a semi-truck t-bone your vehicle or plow into your car head-on? If you were lucky enough to survive the crash, you may well have suffered serious chest trauma due to the tremendous force of the collision. When blunt force or pressure to the chest takes places, a sternum fracture can occur. The sternum, also known as the breastbone, is located in the center of the chest and protects the lungs, heart, and many vital internal organs.
Although sternum fractures are rare, they can result from serious Atlanta trucking accidents due to the force of the impact. When a driver’s chest hits the steering wheel, or the passenger’s chest hits the dashboard, direct blunt trauma may occur to the chest, sternum, or ribs.
Symptoms of Sternum Fractures
Following a collision in Georgia, there are many different signs and symptoms that can help victims determine if they suffered sternum injuries. Some symptoms include:
- Excruciating pain in the chest area
- Chest burn (feels like the chest is on fire)
- Popping sound in chest
- Hard to breathe
- Pain when coughing or sneezing
- Limited range of motion in the upper body
- Pain in other areas of the body, such as in the back and neck
Typically, sternum fractures are identified through x-rays; however, sometimes an x-ray can miss a broken sternum. If the injuries listed above persist, an additional x-ray, bone scan, or other test may need to be taken to properly diagnosis a sternum injury. Most of the time, sternum injuries heal on their own with rest; however, sometimes surgery is needed to repair an unstable sternum or remove broken pieces of the sternum. In either case, healing of the sternum is a long process.
Recovering After a Sternum Injury
When people injure their sternums in Atlanta accidents with large commercial trucks, they are at risk for developing pneumonia. They also have a difficult road ahead of them. Sternum injuries take a long time to heal as there is little blood flow in the sterna area. People may have sustained other internal injuries and ligament damage in addition to a sternal fracture, and they may have muscle atrophy to work through. Physical therapy will be essential in the recovery process to help chest muscles strengthen.
Victims of collisions will often be in a great amount of pain and discomfort while trying to recover from a sternum fracture. This is because any amount of movement can cause pain. Unfortunately, sternum fractures can take months to fully heal, and victims may be ordered to bed rest.
If you have suffered a sternum injury in an Atlanta truck crash, you need to talk call Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 to speak with an experienced Atlanta accident attorney today in a free consultation. Also, visit our website to get a free copy of our book 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Car Wreck Case.