Some causes are:
- A direct blow to the rib, such as from a motor vehicle accident or contact sports
- Repetitive trauma from sports such as rowing and golfing
- Crushing of the chest, such as from having cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Severe coughing
Symptoms may be:
- Pain, often when breathing or coughing
- Swelling and bruising
- Problems breathing
It can take 3 to 6 weeks for a rib fracture to heal. The bones can heal on their own with proper rest.
Pain may make it hard to take deep breaths. This can increase the risk of lung infection like pneumonia. Pain medicine will make breathing more comfortable. You may also be given breathing exercises. They may decrease the risk of pneumonia.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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