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How painful is a broken rib?

Caused due to chest trauma from:

  • Fall
  • Motor accident
  • Direct impact during contact sports

Risk factors for this condition include:

  • Osteoporosis: decreased bone density
  • Participating in sports such as hockey or football
  • Cancerous lesion in the rib

PreventionPrevention

  • Protect yourself from athletic injuries by wearing protective equipment
  • Reduce the chances of falling in the household by removing clutter
  • Have a diet rich in calcium to strengthen your bones

ComplicationsComplications

Complications occur if the sharp end of a broken rib damages the surrounding organs.

  • Punctured or torn aorta
  • Punctured lung which can also collapse
  • Lung damage can cause pneumothorax, surgical emphysema, or hemothorax
  • Chest infections
  • Lacerated spleen, liver or kidney which occurs when the last two ribs are broken

What are the treatment options?What diet is recommended?How is this diagnosed?For informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.Reviewed by a panel of doctors. Source: Focus Medica. Was this helpful?

  • People also askWhat can I do to ease the pain from my broken ribs?What can I do to ease the pain from my broken ribs?

    Pain Relief for Cracked Ribs

    • Over the Counter Pain Medication. Many victims of a cracked rib get prescription pain relief.
    • Compression and Immobilizing. Every time you turn, bend or breathe, the ribs twist and bend.
    • Ice, Ice Baby. Ice will reduce swelling and help numb the damaged area.
    • Take it Easy. Moving your body generally involves moving your ribs.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms depends on the severity of the injury. It is an emergency if the broken ribs are piercing the lungs or heart or if more than 2 continuous ribs are broken in 2 or more places. The common symptoms include:

    • Pain on taking a deep breath, on pressing, and on bending
    • Tenderness and swelling
    • Bruising on the skin
    • Coughing
    • Gritty sensation felt over broken bones
    • Shortness of breath
    • Inability to breath

    CausesCauses

    Caused due to chest trauma from:

    • Fall
    • Motor accident
    • Direct impact during contact sports

    Risk factors for this condition include:

    • Osteoporosis: decreased bone density
    • Participating in sports such as hockey or football
    • Cancerous lesion in the rib

    PreventionPrevention

    • Protect yourself from athletic injuries by wearing protective equipment
    • Reduce the chances of falling in the household by removing clutter
    • Have a diet rich in calcium to strengthen your bones

    ComplicationsComplications

    Complications occur if the sharp end of a broken rib damages the surrounding organs.

    • Punctured or torn aorta
    • Punctured lung which can also collapse
    • Lung damage can cause pneumothorax, surgical emphysema, or hemothorax
    • Chest infections
    • Lacerated spleen, liver or kidney which occurs when the last two ribs are broken

    What are the treatment options?What diet is recommended?How is this diagnosed?For informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.Reviewed by a panel of doctors. Source: Focus Medica. Was this helpful?What can I do to ease the pain from my broken ribs?

    Pain Relief for Cracked Ribs

    • Over the Counter Pain Medication. Many victims of a cracked rib get prescription pain relief.
    • Compression and Immobilizing. Every time you turn, bend or breathe, the ribs twist and bend.
    • Ice, Ice Baby. Ice will reduce swelling and help numb the damaged area.
    • Take it Easy. Moving your body generally involves moving your ribs.

    How long does it take for a cracked rib to heal? Broken bones take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to heal. Broken ribs will usually heal by about 3 months after the injury. The biggest risk of rib fractures is that they are painful, and as a result, tend to make you breathe more shallowly. By failing to fully inflate your lungs as you normally would, you can be at risk for pneumonia.

    What is the healing time for a bruised rib? Bruised ribs are notorious for their long healing time. Unfortunately, unlike other bones of the body, ribs cannot be placed in a cast, which is why we need to wait for them to heal on their own. Typical healing time for bruised ribs is anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks.

    How should one be sleeping with a broken rib?

    How to sleep with broken ribs

    • Avoid sleeping on your side. If the injury is on one side and it has not affected your back and neck, some physicians will advise you to sleep on that
    • Get a wedge pillow.
    • Try sleeping while sitting upright.
    • Sleep in a recliner.
    • Use a body pillow to avoid tossing and turning.

    What can I do to make broken ribs feel better?

    What can I do to make broken ribs feel better?

    To help your broken rib heal, your doctor may also suggest that you:

    • Sleep upright for the first few nights
    • Move around throughout the day to keep your lungs healthy
    • Don’t lift heavy objects or do any activity that makes your pain worse
    • Take 10 slow, deep breaths every hour
    • Don’t avoid coughing
    • Hold a pillow against your chest to reduce the pain when you need to cough
    • Quit smoking — it may help your rib heal faster

    What is the best treatment for a broken rib? The best broken rib treatment is simple pain medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are best. If you go to the ER for your broken rib, the doctor is likely to give you a prescription pain medication as well as a NSAID.

    Would broken ribs heal on their own properly? A jagged edge of broken bone can damage major blood vessels or internal organs, such as the lung. In most cases, broken ribs usually heal on their own in one or two months. Adequate pain control is important so that you can continue to breathe deeply and avoid lung complications, such as pneumonia.

    What doctor treats broken ribs? Doctor and medical specialist list for Rib fracture: The following types of doctors or medical specialists may be involved in diagnosis, treatment or management for Rib fracture: Emergency Medical Physician.