Fractured ribs, usually related to coughing, have been reported in a variety of chest conditions, such as atypical pneumonia, tracheitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, whooping cough, and status asthmaticus.1 Such fractured ribs have been ascribed to muscular action.2 In some instances multiple fractures of the ribs have been reported, and as many as eight fractures in one patient have been described.3
The following report is one of spontaneous fracture of the sternum, presumably due to coughing, in a patient with pulmonary tuberculosis. We have been unable to find any similar case in the literature.
REPORT OF CASE
The patient was a 51-year-old white man in whom pulmonary tuberculosis first developed in 1943. He was kept on bed rest, and in November, 1944, a left phrenic nerve crush was done. All sputum examinations remained positive. There was moderate cough and at times a greenish expectoration. The patient was admitted to
Bass HE, Small MJ. SPONTANEOUS FRACTURE OF STERNUM IN TUBERCULOSIS. JAMA. 1952;150(3):209–210. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.63680030001012
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