Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Rib Fracture Overview

What is a rib fracture?
A person with a rib fracture has broken one of the ribs that surround the chest. The most common cause of rib fracture is an injury to the chest, which may occur during a motor vehicle accident, assault, sporting event, or a fall. The elderly are more prone to rib fracture than young adults and children.

What are the symptoms of a rib fracture?
The most common symptom of a rib fracture is chest pain, which is worse with movement, breathing, and coughing. Additional symptoms include difficulty breathing, and chest bruising, swelling, or tenderness.

How does the doctor treat a rib fracture?
Treatment for a rib fracture includes rest, cold compresses, deep breathing exercises, narcotic pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Treatment for severe rib fractures may include oxygen therapy and surgery.

Continue to Rib Fracture Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Rib Fracture References
  1. Aihara R, Millham FH, Blansfield J, Hirsch EF. Emergency room thoracotomy for penetrating chest injury: effect of an institutional protocol. J Trauma. 2001 Jun;50(6):1027-30. [11426116]
  2. Ferguson M, Luchette FA. Management of blunt chest injury. Respir Care Clin N Am. 1996 Sep;2(3):449-66. [9390891]
  3. Nagy KK, Krosner SM, Roberts RR, Joseph KT, Smith RF, Barrett J. Determining which patients require evaluation for blunt cardiac injury following blunt chest trauma. World J Surg. 2001 Jan;25(1):108-11. [11213149]
  4. Sartorelli KH, Vane DW. The diagnosis and management of children with blunt injury of the chest. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;13(2):98-105. [15362279]
  5. Wanek S, Mayberry JC. Blunt thoracic trauma: flail chest, pulmonary contusion, and blast injury. Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):71-81. [14979330]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.