Costosternal cartilage fracture

Discussion:

Primary complaint was pain, no dyspnea. Patient went home with painkillers. Although dislocation was noticeable during physical examination on subsequent outpatient clinic visits, pain decreased and patient was discharged.

Costal cartilage fractures are uncommon and undetectable on plain radiographs, unless the cartilage is calcified. CT, ultrasound and MRI can all demonstrate fractures of the costal cartilage. In a pediatric population and in follow-up examination ultrasound may be preferable. 

These fractures are commonly left untouched, although it remains unknown whether the cartilage fully heals.

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