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.
- 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.
- 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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