Rib fracture (broken bone)


Chest | Orthopaedics | Rib fracture (broken bone) (Disease)


Description

A rib fracture is a crack or break in one of the bones of the rib cage. A break in the thick tissue (cartilage) that connects the ribs to the breastbone may also be called a fractured rib, even if the bone itself is not broken. A fractured rib may cause: mild to severe pain in the injured area, pain when you breathe, pain around the fracture when someone pushes on your breastbone.

Causes and Risk factors

Simple rib fractures are the most common injury sustained following blunt chest trauma, accounting for more than half of thoracic injuries from nonpenetrating trauma. Approximately 10% of all patients admitted after blunt chest trauma have one or more rib fractures.

Diagnosis and Treatment

These fractures are rarely life-threatening in themselves but can be an external marker of more severe visceral injury inside the abdomen and the chest. In most cases, broken ribs heal on their own in one or two months. Adequate pain control is important, so you can continue to breathe deeply and avoid lung complications, such as pneumonia. ...