Fractures of ribs, symptoms and treatment

What can produce a rib fracture and what are the symptoms? These types of fractures are the most common lesions of the thorax, often caused by bumps or trauma in this area.

rib fractures In another article we talk about tendonitis and its causes, today it is the turn to rib fractures.

Index of the article :

  • What is a rib fracture
  • How is it diagnosed
  • Treatment
  • Video about the syndrome of Tietze

In the rib cage we have 24 ribs, although only fourteen of them are really ribs, because six are considered false, and the last four, floating. These elements protect our internal organs , such as the heart or lungs, which can tell us how important the rib cage is for the human being. We go with a scheme.


What is a broken rib?

When a tear or crack in the rib cage occurs, a cartilage break or thick tissue that joins the ribs The sternum is said to have a rib fracture or fracture, even if the bone has not been broken.

Causes of the rib fracture

The blows or traumatisms in the area, falls and impacts with the steering wheel. It could also be caused by a strong cough or sneeze, especially if the person has weak bones due to osteoporosis or cancer. In children the ribs are more elastic, which is why fractures are more frequent in adults.

fractures-de-ribs-box -sneeing

The ribs that most often fracture: We have the first two ribs protected by the clavicles, and the pectoralis major, then the last two which are mobile. This leaves the intermediate ribs as the most prone to fractures.

Symptoms of rib fracture

  • Pain when breathing.
  • Pain when exerting pressure on the sternum area.
  • Muscular discomfort in the area.
  • Headache.
  • Temporary insomnia.
  • Tiredness and difficulty of movement.
fractures-of-ribs-pressure-sternon These tend to be the symptoms that warn us of the existence of a fracture in the ribs, however, before thinking about whether or not these symptoms are suffered, we must take into account whether we have had a blow, fall or some type of trauma. In these cases, the pain when breathing is usually a clear warning. Therefore, if you have pain when breathing and you have had a fall or injury it is important to go to the doctor and comment on the symptoms so that he can examine you and verify if you have any injury. Ruptured ribs can sometimes be dangerous because if there is any area eroded, it can damage internal organs, such as blood vessels or lungs. fractures-of-ribs-radiography-medical

Because of this you may experience difficulty breathing The fracture will generate pain in the area, so by exerting pressure on the sternum, it will be easily detected.The best is to perform tests such as a chest x-ray, since this way you will clearly see if there are fractures and their range. Even so, sometimes the x-rays do not show a break but the doctor can auscultate you to see if there is pain in the area. In addition to making sure you do not have any other injury. fractures-of-ribs-radiography-of-thorax-doctor The doctor will tell you to take a deep breath, and in doing so you will see if It hurts, if your breathing is normal. In most cases it is best to rest for around six weeks , and it will be accompanied by medicines that help us relieve pain, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, which will help us breathe and sleep better and feel more relieved. Ice is also a good ally of healing, as well as trying to take deep breaths to prevent lung problems . When the injuries caused can compromise a vital organ, first a bone scan with a tracer should be performed, to find out the extent of the injury, since if it is multiple surgery should be resorted to, since with the fastening with nails, plates or screws and in this way force your soldier. If by bad luck there have been injuries in the peripheral organs, in that same operation they can be solved.


It must be said that most fractures heal in a period of two to six months , except in more severe cases. If your doctor thinks you have an internal injury other than a broken rib, he will send you to the hospital to be treated. In the hospital, according to the doctor's diagnosis, they will give you the treatment. The doctor will prescribe medication to reduce the pain.


It is important not to smoke if you have this type of injury, as it will make breathing difficult. With this injury it is more difficult to breathe if you add tobacco consumption to the person may be short of breath. It is also recommended to put ice or cold bands on the injured area, rest and not gain weight. In about 6 months the fracture will be welded.

Video about Tietze syndrome

Tietze syndrome is a disease (not severe) that inflames the joints that join the ribs with the sternum, causing pain in the area of ​​the rib cage. Next, a video about the Tietze syndrome where it is explained and what treatment should be applied.

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