Do I have a Broken Rib?
Broken ribs are painful and can cause serious internal organ damage if they’re broken badly. Your doctor may order an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or Bone scan, which can detect 75% of all broken ribs. A broken rib can have a jagged edge that juts into the chest cavity, posing a risk of harming one of your organs.
How can you tell if you have a broken rib or pulled muscle?
The pain from a rib fracture is usually much worse than the pain from an intercostal muscle strain, and the following symptoms may indicate a rib fracture: shortness of breath, rib protrusion, or a sharp stabbing sensation in the rib area.
What happens if you leave a broken rib untreated?
Rib fractures can cause serious short-term consequences such as severe pain when breathing, pneumonia, and, in rare cases, death, as well as long-term consequences such as chest wall deformity, chronic pain, and decreased lung function if left untreated.
How long does it take for a broken rib to stop hurting?
The amount of pain you experience and how long it lasts depends on the type of injury you have and how badly you’ve been hurt. Fractured ribs and sternums take about 4-6 weeks to heal, and it’s common to still feel some discomfort after that time. Bruising takes 2-4 weeks to heal.
Should I go to the ER for a broken rib?
Anyone who suspects they have a broken rib should see a doctor, and anyone who is having trouble breathing or experiencing severe chest pain should dial 911 or the local emergency number right away.
Is bed rest good for broken ribs?
Rest is one of the best things you can do if you’ve broken a rib (or several), as it will not only relieve some of the pain but also help your body navigate the healing process.
When should I be concerned about rib pain?
If you have severe pain when breathing in or moving your body into a specific position, or if you have any difficulty breathing, call your doctor right away. If you have pressure or pain in your chest along with rib cage discomfort, call 911 right away.
How do you fix a broken rib at home?
What’s the Plan of Action?
- Take a break from sports to allow yourself to heal without injuring yourself again.
- Ice the area to relieve pain.
- Take pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Take deep breaths to avoid pneumonia.
What will a Dr do for a broken rib?
Your doctor may prescribe something to take for pain relief, depending on your pain level. In the first few days after a rib is broken, an injectable form of anesthesia may help numb the nerves directly around the rib, and you can also apply an ice pack to the area to reduce pain and swelling.
How do you diagnose a rib injury?
- X-ray. X-rays use low levels of radiation to reveal bones.
- CT scan. This can reveal rib fractures that X-rays may miss.
- MRI. This can be used to examine the soft tissues and organs surrounding the ribs to see if there is damage.
How do you sleep with a broken rib?
Sit Upright To relieve pain, a person may sleep a few nights in a chair, which can also help with breathing. When coughing, some people find it helpful to hold a pillow against their chest to absorb the sudden movement and steady the torso.
What are the worst ribs to break?
The middle ribs are the most commonly fractured, while the first and second ribs are more likely to cause problems.
Is heat good for bruised ribs?
For the first two days, apply cold to the injured area on and off to help reduce pain and swelling; after two days, apply heat (tub soaks or warm wet washcloths) to help the bruise heal more quickly.
Does broken rib pain get worse before it gets better?
Rib fractures can take weeks to months to heal, depending on how mild or severe the fracture is; in general, any broken bone takes 6-8 weeks to heal, with the worst pain occurring in the first 1-2 weeks and gradually improving after that.
How do you cough with a broken rib?
Do slow deep breathing and gentle coughing exercises every 2 hours to help prevent a collapsed lung or lung infection; holding a pillow or blanket against your injured rib can make these less painful; you may need to take your pain medicine first.