Arizona residents who have been in motor vehicle accidents in which they were not wearing seat belts or were in a vehicle that did not have air bags may have suffered from a sternum fracture. Also known as a breastbone fracture, this injury most commonly occurs in a car accident when the victim hits the steering wheel or dashboard. It is most common in adults over the age of 50 and women are more prone to suffer this type of injury than are men.
A sternum fracture is frequently accompanied by other more serious injuries. These fractures may result in injuries to internal organs such as punctured lungs. The heart and abdominal organs might be involved as well. Because these internal injuries are so serious, treatment usually focuses on stabilizing those before turning to the sternum fracture. A sternum fracture is diagnosed through imaging and physical examination. Frequent symptoms include pain and inflammation, difficulty in breathing and muscle spasms.
The injuries that frequently accompany a sternum fracture are so serious that anywhere from 25 percent to 45 percent of victims do not survive them. Of those who do, the recovery time for this type of fracture is lengthy and may take up to six months. During that time, the injured victim is prohibited from activity such as lifting, carrying and pulling heavy objects.
These restrictions mean that many of those who have suffered this type of injury may miss a great deal of work and lose significant income as a result. Medical expenses may be high as well for these types of serious injuries. If the accident in which the injury occurred was caused by the negligence of another driver, one available alternative could be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party in an attempt to recoup the damages that have been sustained.