Twelve quick facts about rib fractures

Well-known Afrikaans singer Kurt Darren is in the intensive care unit of the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after being involved in a car crash on Sunday morning.

It was initially thought he’d broken his neck, but it turned out he only fractured eight ribs. This is a common injury sustained in motor vehicle accidents.

What is a rib fracture and how should it be treated? Here are some quick facts:

  1. A rib fracture is a crack or break in one or more of your rib bones.
  2. Your ribs are the long, rounded bones in your chest that wrap around your upper body. They connect your breastbone to your spine.
  3. A rib fracture can be very painful because your ribs move when you breathe, cough and move your upper body.
  4. The ribs in the middle of your chest are the ones that break most often.
  5. Healing of fractured ribs can take at least six weeks.
  6. Unless other organs have been injured, you can heal at home. Most people with broken ribs don’t need surgery.
  7. If you have broken a rib, doctors won’t put bandages or belts around your chest, as this could keep your ribs from moving when you cough or breathe, and may lead to the development of pneumonia.
  8. Patients with broken ribs may need prescription painkillers while the bones are healing, as this is a painful condition.
  9. Deep-breathing and coughing exercises can help to prevent a collapsed lung or a lung infection.
  10. Bed rest isn’t recommended, but neither is physically strenuous activity.
  11. While you heal, avoid movements that put painful pressure on your ribs.
  12. Watch out for the side effects of taking pain medication for a prolonged period of time.

SOURCE: Health24

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