A rib fracture is a break in a rib bone. Bruised muscles and ligaments often happen with a rib fracture. More seriously, the lungs and other organs can be injured. More than one rib fracture after a
Extreme repetitive upper body activity (less common), such as in:
Having an occupation involving a lot of overhead
Having a history of rib or chest fracture
Pain in the ribs or upper chest area
Pain when coughing
Swelling and bruising in the fracture area
Severe local tenderness in the fracture area
Pain while breathing
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. He will examine your chest, lungs, and back.
Tests may include:
—an x-ray of the chest to check for fractures and any lung damage
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the chest
—a test that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to make pictures of structures inside the chest
Rest and do not do physical activity until the pain has gone away.
Your doctor may suggest wearing a chest binder around your ribs to protect them. The binder will also help you breathe properly. It is very important to take some good breaths so that the lungs remain clear.
can develop after rib fractures if you are not breathing deeply enough. If you play contact sports, you may need to wear a rib cage protector for 6-8 weeks when you return to playing.
Your doctor may recommend that you take one of the following drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain:
4/30/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Barrett-Connor E, Nielson CM, Orwoll E, Bauer DC, Cauley JA; Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Group. Epidemiology of rib fractures in older men: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2010;340:c1069.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a