Re: bruised sternum?
Thanks. Looking at the anatomy drawings and thinking about how it happened, I'm guessing it is cartilage too. It wasn't a sharp impact, more of a sudden loading of weight onto the top of my sternum. The bar couldn't have dropped more than an inch or two, but I also extended my legs to meet it with my chest.
It's not overly sensitive to the touch, but movement that causes articulation of my upper rib cage causes pain. Dips, for instance, feel like I am being ripped apart. Other exercises don't hurt. Breathing doesn't hurt unless I deliberately overinflate or exhale completely.
No cracking noises, so hopefully I didn't hurt it as bad as you did, and it will heal quicker. I've had my share of serious injuries and I can tell that this, while inconvenient and uncomfortable, is not a serious injury.
Question: should I lay off all exercise, all upper body exercise, or only those exercises that cause excessive discomfort?