Majority of rib fractures are minor still extremely painful. The person who suspects on rib fracture needs to visit his/ her doctor so that the definitive diagnosis can be set. The pain management is essential in treatment of rib fracture. Additionally patients are monitored in case if any complication occurs.
The pain is mainly sharp this is located to the specific area of the chest. It increases in intensity during breathing, coughing and laughing. The injured area may be deformed and bruises may be present as well.
In non-complicated cases the pain one feels may be reduced by usage of adhesive tape. It is stuck onto the fractured rib but not to the whole circumference of the chest as this can affect breathing. This will reduce the movement of fractured ribs hence soothe the pain. The person is then given ibuprofen or some other painkiller. Before taking the drug the patient has to confirm he/ she is not allergic to that specific medication.
More serious fractures are apart from pain followed by shallow and quick or insufficient breathing, accelerated heart rate and even coughing up blood. In this case a person which is near the casualty needs to make sure where the spot of the fracture is. He/ she places hands onto the chest of the casualty and monitors what is happening. If during inhalation one side of the chest goes up and other falls down the chance that three or more ribs have been broken on the falling side is rather high. The casualty is then placed onto the side of the injury. To reduce the intensity of pain a piece of clothing previously rolled can be laid under the casualty as this decreases the movements of the affected side. The person is then closely monitored and if cardiopulmonary arrest occurs the resuscitation must be performed.
All the people with rib fractures must go to hospital. Some of them will be released soon due to mild form of the fracture while others may be hospitalized.
As we all know the fractures are mainly treated with casts. But in this case the rib fractures the casts are not placed as the patient has to keep breathing and the cast will interfere in the process. So there are no casts in this case of fracture. Painkillers are prescribed and patients who are not staying in the hospital are suggested to stay in bad for certain period of time depending on the extent of the injury.
In case of rather severe pain the patient is injected long-lasting anesthesia. This is administered around the nerves which supply the ribs.