Broken ribs: symptoms, cause, treatment and some notices

A broken rib is a common injury that occurs when one of your rib cage's bones breaks or cracks.

If you have broken ribs or fractured skeletons and do not want to do surgery, it is essential to know all about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of broken ribs. When you know this problem you can take care of your injury better and avoid punctured lungs, chest trauma, and heart injurury.

What Is Broken Ribs

A broken rib is a common injury that occurs when one of your rib cage’s bones breaks or cracks. The most common cause is chest trauma, which can result from a fall, a car accident, or an impact during contact sports.

Many cracked ribs are actually broken ribs. While painful, cracked ribs are less dangerous than ribs that have been broken into separate pieces. A broken bone’s jagged edge can cause major blood vessel or internal organ damage, such as lung damage.

Broken ribs usually heal on their own after one or two months. Adequate pain control is critical in order to continue breathing deeply and avoid lung complications such as pneumonia.

A broken rib is a common injury that occurs when one of your rib cage's bones breaks or cracks.

The Symptoms Or Signs

When taking a breath, one of the most persistent symptoms of a broken rib is chest pain. Deep inhalation hurts even more. Laughing, coughing, or sneezing can also cause sharp pains to shoot from the break.

Bending over or twisting your upper body may also cause sudden hurt, depending on the location of the fracture. Striking or pressing on the fracture will result in injury for several week. Swelling and redness may also appear around the break. In some cases, bruising on the skin near the break may be visible.


During the physical examination, your doctor will gently press on your ribs. He or she may also listen to your lungs and observe the movement of your rib cage as you breathe. Your doctor will most likely order one or more of the imaging tests listed below:

  • X-ray. X-rays use low levels of radiation to reveal bones. However, X-rays frequently fail to detect fresh rib fractures, especially if the bone is only cracked. X-rays can also be used to diagnose a collapsed lung.
  • CT scan. This is frequently used to detect rib fractures that X-rays may miss. Soft tissue and blood vessel injuries are also more visible on CT scans. This technology combines X-rays from various angles to create cross-sectional slices of your body’s internal structures.
  • MRI. This can be used to examine the soft tissues and organs surrounding the ribs to see if there is any damage. It can also aid in the detection of less obvious rib fractures. An MRI creates cross-sectional images using a powerful magnet and radio waves.
  • Scan of the bones. This technique is useful for examining stress fractures, which occur when a bone cracks as a result of repeated trauma, such as coughing for long periods of time. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into your bloodstream during a bone scan. It accumulates in the bones, especially where a bone is healing, and is detected by a scanner.

The Causes

Your ribs are built to withstand a lot as the protectors of your heart and lungs. However, severe blows to the chest or back can fracture them.

These can be caused by:

  • Car accidents in contact sports such as football or rugby
  • difficult falls
  • Domestic violence or other types of personal violence
  • Years of repetitive actions, such as swinging a golf club, can be very taxing on your rib and muscles. Trauma caused by repetitive forceful motions can increase your risk of breaking a rib.

Those most vulnerable to this include:

  • People with osteoporosis, a disease that reduces bone density, making bones more vulnerable to fractures, athletes who play contact sports or engage in frequent repetitive motions involving the chest or back
  • people who have a cancerous lesion on a rib, which can weaken the bone

The Treatment

Most broken ribs heal in about 6 weeks. While you’re recovering:

  • Take a break from sports to allow yourself to heal without further injury.
  • Apply ice to the affected area to relieve pain.
  • Take pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you require something stronger, your doctor may prescribe it to you.
  • To avoid pneumonia, take deep breaths. The most common complication of rib fractures is a lung infection. Your doctor may prescribe a simple device to encourage you to take deep breaths.
  • While your ribs are healing, avoid wrapping anything too tightly around them. Nothing should restrict your breathing.

If your injury is more serious, you may require additional treatment or even surgery. For example, if a sharp end of one of your ribs punctures your lung, you may require a procedure to remove air or blood from inside your chest.

Some people with severely damaged bones may need to have them repaired with metal plates, but this is uncommon.

The treatment has evolved in recent years. Doctors used to wrap the torso tightly around a fractured rib to keep the affected rib from moving. However, this type of bandaging can restrict your breathing and, in rare cases, lead to respiratory problems such as pneumonia.

Nowadays, broken skeletons are usually left alone to treat without the use of any supportive devices or bandages. Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever. An injectable form of anesthesia may help numb the nerves directly around the rib in the first few days after a rib is broken.

You can also apply an ice pack to the affected area to relieve pain and swelling. Just make sure you first wrap it in a thin towel. Try the best way to sleep with broken ribs in a more upright position for the first few nights after the injury if at all possible.

Surgery may be required for severe rib fractures, such as those that make breathing difficult. In some cases, plates and screws may be used to stabilize the ribs.

While no one wants a serious rib fracture, the advantages of having surgery with plates and screws include a shorter healing time and less pain than allowing the ribs to heal on their own.


It’s critical to get adequate pain relief; if you breath deeply hurts, you could develop pneumonia. If oral medications are ineffective, your doctors may recommend long-lasting anesthesia injections around the nerves that supply the ribs.

Some Reminders

Should I Go To Urgent Care For A Broken Rib

This can be caused by a number of accidents, such as falling or tripping. Some rib fractures may require immediate medical attention because they can lead to breathing difficulties. Another common cause of is forceful coughing. A trip to the ER is your best option, however, if the injury is severe enough to warrant emergency medical treatment.

The first step to treating a broken rib is to find a doctor for a diagnosis. After listening to your chest and examining you, he may order an x-ray, MRI, or bone scan. While the x-rays and imaging studies are helpful, most fractured ribs can treat on their own without medical treatment. To reduce the likelihood of further complications, try not to do strenuous activities while the injury is present. Instead, focus on breathing deeply. Your doctor may also prescribe medication or even an ice pack.

The treatment depends on the severity of the break and the circumstances of the patient. Sometimes, the ribs can heal on their own, and some medication is required to help patients through the healing period. If you have certain medical conditions, like COPD, heart failure, or other problems, your treatment may be different.

 Is Hot Or Cold Better

A broken rib may be more painful when lying flat, but it can be relieved by sitting upright. In addition, keeping your body upright allows you to breathe easier. If you have bruising on or around your ribs, this may indicate a damaged rib. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.

A broken rib can cause significant injuries to the internal organs. Symptoms of a broken rib include pain that varies in intensity, difficulty breathe, and feeling short of breath.

Upon waking, the area around the fracture may feel swollen and bruised. The rib itself should not have huge protrusions. The injury may also become worse when you bend over or twist your upper body. In addition, you may notice that you have a fever or a cough. In any case, you should see a doctor right away if you suspect that you’ve broken a rib.

In general, this broken usually heal in a month or two, depending on the severity of the injury. In the meantime, it’s important to keep a steady temperature and pain control during the healing process. Proper pain control is essential to prevent lung complications, so you may wish to consider using pillows under your neck and upper back. Cold therapy may also help you sleep on your unaffected side.

 Do I Need To Go To The Doctor

When you have a broken rib, you’ll most likely have pain while you breath or cough. This can be extremely dangerous, as the ribs may collapse and result in pneumonia. A break in a rib can also cause bruising to develop on the inside of the lung, which can increase the risk of pneumonia.

Broken ribs can be painful, but they typically heal without surgery. Taking pain medicine and icing the ribs will help your body heal. The doctors will also monitor your healing. If you suffer from a flail chest, surgery may be necessary. If you have a broken rib, make sure to consult with your doctor about ways to manage the pain and breathe deeply.

Whether you need to see a physician for broken rib cage depends on the severity of the injury. The recovery time for a broken rib depends on several factors, including your age, overall health and any existing medical conditions.

A more severe break will require hospitalization. A clinician will most likely prescribe pain medicine to you during this healing time. This can include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or opioids. Another treatment option you may consider is a surgical intercostal nerve block.

In case, you need more information, visit Health Care services center. It is highly appreciate when you search more on our site. If you want to heal without getting surgery, it is possible but you should consult the doctors.


  • Check to see if you have a bruised or broken rib that causes severe pain in your chest wall, especially when you breathe in.
  • Tenderness or swelling around the affected ribs
  • Bruising on the skin on occasion.
  • If you have a broken rib, you may feel or hear a crack.

Rib fracture recovery

Rib fractures can take weeks or months to heal, depending on the severity of the fracture. In general, any broken bone will heal in 6-8. The worst pain is usually felt in the first 1-2, and it gradually improves after that.

Broken ribs usually heal on their own after one or two months. Adequate pain control is essential in order to continue breathing deeply and avoid lung complications such as pneumonia.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply