The skeletal system is an important part of the body. It gives the body structure and it protects the body’s vital organs. The ribs protect the body’s thoracic cavity where the lungs and the heart are located. These are two important organs of the body that are responsible for giving oxygen and oxygenated blood to the other organs of the body.
A fractured rib poses a threat to the integrity of the individual because not only is it painful, it also poses the risk of injuring the internal organs it protects. The restoration of the broken or cracked ribs is an important management for this condition.
- Refers to a break in one or more of the bones that make up the human’s rib cage.
- The rib cage is composed of the first rib, middle ribs, and lower ribs.
- The first rib rarely fractures or breaks because of its safe position behind the collarbone or clavicle.
- The middle ribs is the part of the ribs that is commonly fractured, particularly the 7th and 10th rib.
- The lower rib poses a risk of injuring the diaphragm when fractured.
- One or more ribs can be fractured due to physical trauma or injury.
- This is a painful medical condition that makes breathing a difficult task to accomplish.
- A flail chest may result when several ribs are broken in several places.
Fractured Ribs Symptoms
- Pain in the affected area that ranges from mild to severe.
- Difficulty or pain when breathing.
- Pain on the area of fracture when the breastbone is pushed.
Symptoms of a Flail Chest:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of impending doom or feeling scared.
- Lethargy or sleepiness
Fractured Rib Treatment
Broken ribs can heal by themselves with home or conservative treatment. Hospitalization is needed when the severity of the fracture has the potential to or has already caused internal injuries.
- Pain management is important. Pain management from broken ribs is important because the pain can inhibit movement, breathing, and can suppress coughing. All these can lead to secondary complications such as pneumonia or collapse of lung tissue.
- Deep breathing and coughing exercise. This is an odd exercise to recommend to patients with injured or broken ribs but it is important in preventing pneumonia and lung collapse.
- Home treatment may include ice compresses, over-the-counter pain medications, and rest.
- For flail chest, assisted ventilation may be necessary.
- For severely broken ribs, surgery may be necessary.