Sternal Compression test is a thoracic examination procedure that tests for rib fracture and costochondritis.
Patient should be awake and cooperative during the Sternal Compression Test.
- Patient assumes a supine lying position.
- The examiner applies a gentle downward force directly over the sternum.
- The examiner checks for any sign of discomfort or pain.
Positive Sternal Compression Test
There is positive Sternal Compression Test when there is localized pain.
- Pain over the lateral rib border could indicate rib fracture
- Pain over the costosternal junction could indicate costochondritis or Tiestze Syndrome
In case rib fracture is suspected, imaging should be done before a sternal compression test. Examiners may ask the patient to cross her hands over the chest area before applying pressure to avoid inappropriate patient contact.