Broken Bones - Broken Ribs
This time I am writing this hub because I have suffered a bicycle crash and hit the ground with my chest, face and also the arms.
Only a couple of days later I realized something was not right with my ribs. It was just while I was playing soccer in the beach with some friends that I started to feel the pain on my chest every time I tried to breath faster or deeper.
A rib fracture can be described as a a break or fracture in one or more of the bones which form the rib cage. Most of the times a rib fracture it is caused by a trauma or impact to the chest (fall, motor vehicle accident or impact during contact sports).
Many broken ribs are only cracked but sometimes it happens complete bone fracture with one or more pieces making it more dangerous as it can cause some kind of damage on major blood vessels or internal organs.
The first rib is rarely fractured because of its protected position behind the clavicle (collarbone). However, if it is broken serious damage can occur to the brachial plexus of nerves and the subclavian vessels.
Fractures of the first and second ribs may be more likely to be associated with head and facial injuries than other rib fractures.
The middle ribs are the ones most commonly fractured so the most commonly fractured ribs are the 7th and 10th.
A lower rib fracture has the complication of potentially injuring the diaphragm which could result in a diaphragmatic hernia.
Rib fractures are usually quite painful because the ribs have to move to allow for breathing. Even a small crack can inflame a tendon and cripple an arm.
After an accident or fall when you suffer an impact in the chest area you should look for the following symptoms:
- Pain when breathing or when you bend or twist your body;
- Pain that gets worse when you press on the injured area;
- A portion of the chest wall moving separately from the rest of the chest;
- A grating sound with breathing or movement.
My Chest X-ray
Looking at the symptoms I only miss the grating sounds but never the less I went to take a x-ray just to confirm if I had any fracture.
Fortunately there wasn`t any visual fracture so I was lucky getting away from it with just a luxation of one of my upper ribs.
After a week the pain is still there but it´s bearable and doctors recommended I take pain killers which I haven´t took yet... let´s see if I can manage to stay away from those drugs.
I´ll wait a couple more weeks without riding my bikes so that the injury can heal and the pains go away.
How to Treat Bruised Ribs
Every time your chest suffers a hard impact which could mean you have broken one or more ribs it is better to check (x-ray) if it is really broken to avoid complications like damages to other tissues or organs.
There is no specific treatment for rib fractures but various supportive measures can be taken. In simple rib fractures. Pain can lead to reduced movement and or cough suppression and to avoid secondary chest infections adequate analgesia can be used.
Spontaneous fractures in athletes generally requires a cessation of the cause, whilst maintaining cardiovascular fitness.
In case of sever chest injuries treatment options may include internal fixation/repair of rib fractures by means of screws, plates and sutures.
It is important to remember that the pain killers are meant to help you take strong and deep breaths. This breathing exercises will help you keep a good respiratory health while recovering from the broken rib.
So don´t be afraid to take the medication if you see you can´t make those deep breaths as pain control will allow deeper and stronger breaths.
If you ever went through this kind of injury please leave your comment and share your experiences with us.