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My sternum keeps cracking. Having pain. Done x-ray. Now?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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My sternum (breast bone) keeps cracking. I have to crack it to relieve pain. I find I have to turn to the side to make it crack. Some times I am unable to crack this and it hurts for most of the day. I have also been experiencing a pain in my left rib - back area. When I breath hard it hurts in that area. I have had an x-ray but I am waiting for the results. Do you know what this could be?
Posted Tue, 21 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for query,
I think its a good idea you have done chest X XXXXXXX done already. However, a few things must be considered for a proper interpretation of the X XXXXXXX results. Do you have any past history of chest trauma? rheumatologic disease or arthritis?
A clinical evaluation is very vital to ascertain the actual state of the symptoms you are describe. Depending on whether the tenderness is constant or temporary, the radiates or not, the ribs get depressed on pressure or not, overall clinical appearance of the chest, this could give a clear clinical orientation.
This could be an unidentified fracture of the rib, in case of mild to moderate trauma that was neglected, or an abnormal suspended rib, a common malformation usually noticed at a later stage in life. Rare causes like inflammatory processes are possibilities but far less probable in this case.
I suggest a neglected fractured rib, an abnormal suspended or isolated rib or some inflammatory process. A clinical evaluation and chest XXXXXXX findings should be sufficient in making a diagnosis. Do not hesitate asking further questions if need be.
Thanks and best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
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