What is it?
A fracture of the rib means that a rib has broken. This usually occurs after an accident, but may also occur as a result of vicious sporting activity or severe coughing. People with osteoporosis (brittle bones) have a greater risk of getting a rib fracture. Although a rib fracture is painful, it is not serious and will heal on its own typically within 8 weeks. However, it may be important to confirm that the broken rib has not damaged any of the underlying structures such as the lung.
What to expect?
You may try the following while arranging or waiting for medical help:
- Keep the pain under control and take, if needed, pain relieving medication. Adequate control of the pain is import to make sure you keeping taking deep enough breaths and thus reduce the risk of developing a pneumonia.
If you are diagnosed with a fracture of the rib, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor after the initial treatment:
- When can you start exercises to get the strength back in the muscles and ligaments of the ankle?
- Do you need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements for bone strength?
- Do you need additional investigations to determine the strength of your bones?