A rib fracture is a break in a rib bone. Bruised muscles and ligaments often happen with a rib fracture. With a rib fracture, the lungs and other organs can be injured. More than one rib fracture after a
can indicate serious internal injury.
Multiple Rib Fractures with Damage to Lung
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Rest and do not do physical activity until the pain has gone away.
Your doctor may suggest wearing a chest binder around your ribs to protect them. The binder will also help you breathe properly. It is very important to take some good breaths so that the lungs remain clear.
can develop after rib fractures if you are not breathing deeply enough. If you play contact sports, you may need to wear a rib cage protector for 6-8 weeks when you return to playing.
Your doctor may recommend that you take one of the following drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
As your ribs heal, a physical therapist can teach you breathing exercises. The therapist can also help you maintain
range of motion
in arm and shoulder joints.
Intercostal Nerve Blocks
Special injections with local anesthetic can temporarily relieve pain.
Sometimes a temporary epidural catheter is used to place anesthetic near the spinal cord and nerves. This can help severe cases.
This is usually done for hospitalized patients.
Hospitalization is usually only needed if there are complications such as damage to chest organs in the chest.