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Ribcage Injuries

Rib fractures are not uncommon. They do, however, often cause significant pain and put a damper on everyday activity. Surgery is rarely required, and while it may take several months to heal completely, the pain should gradually disappear after a few days. Unfortunately, there is no "quick fix" for broken ribs. It takes approximately four to six weeks to achieve enough healing for the fracture to become stable. A "rib belt" or similar strapping around the chest may help with the pain.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in rib area and very sore to touch.
  • Normal activity causes rib area to feel uncomfortable and sore.
  • Swelling and bruising over fractured site.
  • Rib pain with heavy breathing or coughing./li>

Treatment:

  • See your physician.
  • Mild pain medication is often prescribed.
  • Restrict activity so that all activities feel comfortable.
  • Breathe normally and do not smoke.
  • Rest as much as you can.
  • Ice the area lightly three to four times per day (10 to 30 minutes).

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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