How Are Broken Ribs Treated

How are broken ribs treated?

The treatment of broken rib is different from one person to another. There are many things which can affect your recovery process. You need to keep in mind that there is no magic bullet for all cases. But there are some common factors which may contribute towards the healing process of broken ribs. So here we will list them out for you:


How old were you when it happened?


What type of accident was it?


Did you have any other injuries at the time?

(e.g. sprains, bruises etc.)


Do you have any scars or marks on your body? If yes, what kind of scars/marks do they show?


How much pain did you feel when it happened and how long after the incident did it last?


Have you had surgery or other medical procedures done on your body? If so, what kind of procedure were they and when did you undergo such procedures?


How severe was the injury at the time of the accident? Was it just a minor cut or scrape? Or was it something more serious like a fracture or punctured lung?


How much blood was shed at the time of the injury?

It may or may not be related to this but it’s a question that will be asked.


Who found you and how long was it before professional help arrived on the scene?


If you were under going surgery for this, how successful was the procedure and what happened during the operation?

These are some of the things that will be asked to you. Be prepared with your answers because you never know when you’ll be called in for an interview. These questions will be asked over and over again by many different people. When such a thing happens, remain calm and answer the questions as naturally as you can. Even if you’ve told your story a million times before, it still won’t seem real. Tell it like its the first time and stay focused on the interviewer. It will be hard at first but you’ll get used to it, you’ll have no other choice.

As far as treatment is concerned, there are many different methods used to heal broken ribs. These routines may or may not be followed by every person.

Just remember that there is no one size fits all treatment plan. Each plan will be different for every individual. Some of these routines may include:

• Taking over the counter pain medication. This may or may not be followed with prescription pain medication.

• Staying in a body cast for a set amount of time. If you’re under going surgery, this may be required.

• Wearing a stiff back support to prevent further injury and aid in healing the broken rib(s).

• Doing breathing exercises to strengthen the muscles around the area and prevent punctured lungs.

These are just a few of the many routines that are used. In addition, there are two other treatment plans which are surgery and rest.

These should only be selected if other routines have failed or been ruled out as a possibility. When these plans are set into motion, you’ll be under the supervision of a surgeon and in a hospital.

Surgery is rarely used because it is very dangerous to operate around the chest. This is especially true in cases of broken ribs.

The risk of puncturing the lung and causing even more problems are too great. If you do undergo surgery, expect to have a breathing tube installed in your throat so that you can breath and also stay under for the procedure.

As for rest, this plan is only used when all other options have been exhausted. In this plan, you’ll remain in bed for an extended amount of time while taking pain medication.

Normally, this is the last resort and very rarely used.

These are the three main plans used to recover from a broken rib(s). There are other plans that will be recommended by your surgeon but these are the most common.

Besides treating the broken rib(s), there are other things that you can do on your own to help speed up the process.

Sources & references used in this article:

Device for the analgesic immobilisation of broken ribs by K Bolla – US Patent App. 10/547,336, 2006 – Google Patents

Continuous epidural anaesthesia in multiple fractures of the ribs by M Trahan – Canadian Anaesthetists’ Society Journal, 1961 – Springer

Blistering Rash over Broken Ribs by KR Graham, BR Rohr, VJ Marks – SKIN The Journal of Cutaneous …, 2020 –

Comparing epidural block and intercostal block in patients with 3–4 broken ribs following chest cage blunt trauma by A Kamali, GN Broujerdi, H Bagheri – Annals of Tropical Medicine and …, 2017 –

Early diagnosis of traumatic rupture of the bronchus by JF Burke – Jama, 1962 –

A novel mechanism for generating auxetic behaviour in reticulated foams: missing rib foam model by CW Smith, JN Grima, KE Evans – Acta materialia, 2000 – Elsevier

Half-a-dozen ribs: the breakpoint for mortality by BT Flagel, FA Luchette, RL Reed, TJ Esposito… – Surgery, 2005 – Elsevier

Pericardial rupture and cardiac herniation after blunt trauma: a case diagnosed using cardiac MRI by JH Sohn, JW Song, JB Seo, KH Do… – The British Journal of …, 2005 –

Pilot study of operative fixation of fractured ribs in patients with flail chest by S Marasco, J Cooper, A Pick… – ANZ journal of …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library