Broken ribs are likely to be one of the most painful injuries that a person could ever suffer. Although there isn’t any type of medical procedure that can fix one or more broken ribs, you’ll be serving your best interests well by consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Call Maison Law as soon as possible after your rib injury for a free consultation.
The Ribs in the Human Body
There are 24 ribs in the human body that protect the heart, lungs and other organs. The first seven of them connect the sternum to the spine. Numbers 8 through 10 aren’t directly connected, while numbers 11 and 12 are called floating ribs.
Some Common Causes of Broken Ribs
Ribs are broken by forceful trauma. There are a wide variety of accidents that might cause one or more of a victim’s ribs to be broken. Here are a few examples:
- Slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls and falls from heights.
- Auto and truck crashes
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
- Construction accidents.
- Farming accidents.
Rib Fracture Symptoms
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network, the most common symptoms of rib fractures are pain when the area around the fractured ribs is touched and pain when breathing, sneezing or coughing. Victims will take short breaths and try not to move, but this can lead to pneumonia.
Diagnosing Broken Ribs
After taking a medical history and examining the patient, a physician will order diagnostic images. Those might consist of the following:
- X-Rays: These are useful for purposes of diagnosing broken ribs and diagnosing a collapsed lung.
- CT Scan: Although these can show less obvious fractures, CT scan images might also show damage to blood vessels.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging: These tests are of benefit in looking for organ damage around rib fractures.
Other Complications of Rib Fractures
The Mayo Clinic advises that in the event of serious fractures of multiple ribs, blood vessels and internal organs can be damaged too. Here are some possible complications of broken ribs that it warns of:
- Torn or Ruptured Aorta: This condition can occur as a result of a fracture of one of the first three ribs. Fractures of those ribs are unusual.
- Punctured Lung: The sharp end of a broken middle rib can puncture a lung and cause it to collapse. A respiratory emergency exists when this happens. Middle ribs are broken far more frequently than the first three ribs.
- Spleen, liver or kidney lacerations: These organs can be penetrated by the sharp end of one of the bottom two ribs. These ribs are “floating,” so fractures of them are unusual.
Broken Rib? Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer Now.
Treatment of rib fractures overwhelmingly consists of rest, ice, pain medication and breathing exercises. Broken ribs ordinarily heal in six to eight weeks. Any complications involving organ or circulatory damage are far more worrisome. Contact us if you broke one or more ribs in an accident that you believe was caused by somebody else. We can talk about how the accident happened and how you’ve been affected by it. Your questions will be answered truthfully, and then, we’ll advise you of what we think we can do for you. The sooner that you make that call, the sooner we might be able to start building a case on your behalf.