A lot of people mistake sternum for something else but it is actually a medical name for breastbone or chest bone. Sternum is located in the middle of the chest, just underneath the collarbone. The breastbone is shaped like a capital letter T. Along with the rib bones, sternum has the job of protecting the vital inner organs like heart and lungs from various physical injuries and trauma.
People who experienced chest bone pain know that it can be either chronic or acute. In some cases, the pain can be associated with cracking or clicking sensations in the chest bone. There are various causes that can lead to sternum pain.
Sternum pain causes
In most cases, sternum pain is considered to be a symptom of chest pain. People need to know that sternum pain is nothing like heart related chest pain or even angina. People are aware of a couple of causes of sternum pain.
Costochondritis is an injury or more often an inflammation to the rib cage. This ailment is considered to be one of the most common causes of chest bone pain. Not a lot of people are aware of this ailment but a huge number of people go to the hospital every year complaining about this particular pain. Sternum pain occurs when the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum swells up or gets inflamed.
- Injury to the sternoclavicular joint
This particular joint connects the sternum to the collarbone or clavicle. A person who injures this joint will experience pain to the sternum. The amount of pain will depend on the seriousness of the injury. For instance, a person who dislocates the sternoclavicular joint will suffer from severe pain.
- Trauma to the collarbone
It is not uncommon for people to experience certain injuries and fractures to the collarbone. In most cases they happen during birth but they can occur after falls or accidents. A proper fixing of the collarbone will get rid of the pain.
- Fractures of the sternum
Even though these cases are quite rare, a person will experience pain when he or she fractures the sternum. In these cases the sternum usually breaks into pieces.
- Other sternum pain causes
A person who had a heart operation will experience pain to the sternum after the surgery. Apart from that, a person may experience pain after over exercising, ribs injuries, breast and bone cancer.
Sternum pain diagnosis and treatment
People need to know that if they experience sternum pain, they should make sure that they attend to it immediately. An early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential.