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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor (MD/DO)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 7068
Experience:  MBBS, MD, ECFMG certified. 11 year experience in dealing with cases related to all fields of medicine
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I unfortunately ran into a steel post today that I didn't

Customer Question

I unfortunately ran into a steel post today that I didn't see. I had seat belt on but either hit the steering wheel or the force from the impact caused chest/sternum pain. Not sure how to diagnose symptoms as to what going on. Any info. you can give me?
JA: Have you ever dealt with this before? Are you having any shortness of breath?
Customer: No, never before - definitely from the impact. Not short o breath?
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: Not sure what that would be?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. Im sorry to hear about your symptoms. Now this sort of impact is concerning, there are a number of injuries which can occur in this manner and these should be evaluated as soon as possible. Now while sternum is one of the strongest bones in the body, the structures behind it are one of the most vulnerable. That is why you should look for the following signs and symptoms,

  • PErsistent pain in the chest area
  • Tenderness over the sternum
  • Crepitus/crackling over the sternum
  • shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Bruising over the sternum and ribs
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations

If any of these symptoms appear at any time you should IMMEDIATELY proceed to the ER the reason being that these could indicate trauma to the lungs, heart or even the aorta which are directly behind the sternum and can be damaged in steering wheel injuries, secondly if you can see some bruising over the sternum or over the ribs then you should go to the ER right now. But if there is no bruising or tenderness,then you can use OTC anti inflammatory medications like motrin or aleve for the pain and just monitor yourself.

Do you have any more questions?

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Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 8 months ago.

Would you like to know anything else? Any clarifications or additional questions that you might have, i would be happy to answer them for you. If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating.