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J Pediatr Surg. 2019 Nov 6. pii: S0022-3468(19)30675-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2019.10.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Pediatric Sternal Fractures: A Single Center Retrospective Review.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, MA. Electronic address: alexander.chalphin@childrens.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, MA. Electronic address: David.mooney@childrens.harvard.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We sought to investigate the diagnosis, management, and outcomes of pediatric sternal fractures.

METHODS:

We used ICD codes to search our trauma registry and Hound Dog software to search the hospital data warehouse for all cases of radiologically confirmed sternal fracture in patients <21 years from January 1, 1997 to July 1, 2017. We extracted demographics, mechanism of injury, diagnostic modality, associated injuries, and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS:

We identified 65 children with sternal fractures. 46/65 (71%) were male, with median age 11 years. 34/65 (52%) presented to our emergency department (ED) and the remainder to outpatient clinics. 41/65 (63%) were diagnosed by chest X-ray, 11/65 (17%) by chest CT, 7/65 (11%) by sternal X-ray, and 5/65 (8%) by MRI. Mechanism of injury varied by age. The majority, 50/65 (77%), were isolated injuries and there were no cardiac injuries, aortic injuries or deaths. 18/33 (45%) of those who presented initially to the ED were admitted, and of these 7/18 (39%) had isolated sternal fractures.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this series, most sternal fractures were isolated with low morbidity. Sternal fracture alone should not prompt aggressive workup for intrathoracic injuries and stable patients with isolated sternal fractures can be safely followed without admission.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

IV.

KEYWORDS:

Pediatric; Sternal fracture; Trauma

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