Fractured Ribs

What are Fractured Ribs?
Fractured or broken ribs are very common in heavy contact sports when a direct blow to the chest or midsection occurs.  There are many cases where fractured ribs can be mistaken for a bruised rib cage so it is important to fully understand the difference between the two. The only way to recover from broken or fractured ribs is with time and rest. If you suspect that you have suffered from a fractured rib, you should be able to self-diagnose the region that is injured because it will be extremely sensitive to pressure.  If you suspect that further internal damage has occurred, then you should immediately see a physician to have further testing done.

Medical Definition of Fractured Ribs
Fractured ribs can lacerate the pleura, lung, and possibly even the abdominal organs.  It is also important to note that fractures to the upper ribs may signal a more serious vascular injury, and isolated fractures very seldom represent significant injuries.  There is a much higher incidence of broken ribs in older individuals, whose ribs are relatively in elastic, compared with the incidence of rib fractures in children, whose ribs are more pliable and resilient.

Synonyms
- Broken Ribs

What are the symptoms of Fractured Ribs?
- Pain and swelling at the site of the fracture.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Pain felt when coughing or sneezing.
- Site of fractured rib is sensitive to pressure being applied.

Related Injuries
- Bruised Rib Cage
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Broken Collarbone
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Concussion

Treatment of Fractured Ribs
- REST is the best treatment method
- Appropriate usage of
NSAIDS to help alleviate the pain
-
Apply ice to help alleviate some of the swelling and inflammation
- If pain is unbearable you should seek further medical attention to make sure damage is not more severe


Related Anatomy
- Ribcage
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Intercostal Muscles
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Lungs

References
Dutton Mark. (2004). Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, and Intervention: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division (1270-1271)