What Is A Rib Fracture?? A complete or incomplete fracture of any of the 12 ribs on either side. Most are accompanied by sprain or rupture of muscles, tendons or ligaments between ribs (intercostal structures). Relatively common injuries in contact sports.
Body Parts Involved… Any one or several of the 12 ribs Soft tissue surrounding the fracture site. Ribs 4-9 are most commonly broken due to blows because they are less protected.
Signs and Symptoms Sever pain at the fracture site Tenderness to the touch A feeling that the “ Wind has been knocked out” Abdominal pain if the fractured ribs are below the diaphragm Severe chest pain when coughing, sneezing, or breathing deeply.
Cont’d A feeling of small air pockets under the skin of the chest or neck if the lung has been injured and leaked air. Swelling and bruising over the fracture site. Shallow breathing
Causes Direct blow to the chest from a blunt object Trauma to the chest Hard Coughing or sneezing Compression of the chest
Increasing Risk Factors.. Contact Sports History of bone or joint disease Poor nutrition
Prevention No specific preventive measures Chance of re-injury can be minimized by using a chest support with a rigid pad
Possible Complications Ruptured lung Injure the liver if the right 11 th and 12 th ribs are fractured and have jagged edges Rupture the spleen if the left 11 th and 12 th ribs are fractured and have jagged edges. Prolonged pain and slow healing
How Is It Treated?? DO NOT wear a rib belt or binder To decrease pain when you cough, hold a small pillow or folded towel over the site and press firmly Avoid strenuous activity Eat normal, well-balanced, HIGH FIBER diet.
Cont’d Avoid Constipation Take deep breaths several times a day Apply an ice pack 3-4 times daily After 2-3 days, if heat is more soothing apply heat pad
Call Doctor When... Develop fever > 101 degrees F Develop cold or cough Cough up thick or bloody sputum
Medication 1.Aspirin 2.Ibuprofen 3.Possible injection of long-lasting anesthesia