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How long does a broken rib take to heal?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

When we speak of a broken rib, we are referring to the fracture that occurs in any of the flat, rounded bones of the chest that cover the upper part of the body and have the task of connecting the sternum with the spine. These types of injuries are usually very painful, since the ribs grind on their own with the action of coughing and breathing or with any movement of the upper body, therefore, every time the ribs move the pain of the fracture it is more intense.

When there is a rib fracture, it is possible that it is the bones that are located in the middle of the thorax, since these are broken more frequently. A broken rib represents a lung risk and always leaves sequelae such as muscle pain. Any fracture of these bones must be treated and examined by a doctor who will indicate the treatment and time of rest. Rib injuries are the ones that take the longest to heal, so if you want to know how long a broken rib takes to heal, read this FastlyHealarticle carefully.

How long does a broken rib take to heal?

A broken rib is considered to take at least 6 weeks to heal. However, this period of time may be longer or shorter depending on the characteristics of the fracture and whether the injury involves damage to other organs near the chest. When the wound affects other parts of the body, such as the stomach or lungs, it is necessary to hospitalize the person to treat properly and not compromise their health.

If we ask ourselves how long a broken rib takes to heal, we can say that when the fracture is closed , that is, the bone was fractured but remains in place, recovery is faster. When the fracture is open, which implies that the bone has come out of the skin , the complication is longer. And when the fracture includes more than one chest bone and damage to an organ, the recovery is quite complicated and long.

  • Broken rib due to closed fracture: 4 weeks.
  • 2 broken ribs due to closed fracture: 4 weeks.
  • Broken rib due to open fracture: 6 weeks.
  • Broken rib and organ damage: 6 weeks or more.
  • 2 Broken ribs due to open fracture: 6 weeks.

These are the estimated times that the chest bones take to heal after a fracture, however, when the ribs are injured, the person, after the fissure has healed, may continue to experience pain and discomfort when breathing from the trauma received in the zone. The fact that the bone is solid does not mean that it is not yet injured by the blow or impact that caused the break, so it is important not to force movements, run or do any extreme activity that involves the upper part of the body. body to avoid feeling severe pain again. The discomfort of the fracture can last up to 10 weeks .

When the diagnosis is rib fracture, the person must be aware that recovery is also slower because unlike fractures of other bones, these injuries are not treated with a cast, that is, the bones will not be immobile because otherwise it would be impossible for the person to cough or breathe. For this reason, the quality of rest and rest is essential for the recovery of a broken rib, since if the person follows all the instructions to the letter, the rib will take just long to heal, otherwise the recovery can be seen. elongated.

Tips to Relieve the Pain of a Broken Rib

The pain that a broken rib can cause is very intense, and can even persist with the intake of medications. To alleviate them, we offer you some tips that you can apply at home during recovery.

  • To relieve pain and decrease inflammation from the injury, apply ice packs for 20 minutes for every hour that you are awake for the first two days. Then apply the cold for 10 minutes three times a day or whenever the pain is severe.
  • To avoid nausea and vomiting, eat small portions of food several times a day and drink liquids in small sips . The soda cracker helps relieve nausea considerably.
  • Avoid making any effort or weight lifting, to prevent the bone from moving sharply.
  • Do breathing exercises to prevent a lung infection or collapse. Breathe deeply and slowly. Cough gently every two hours. To make coughing less painful, you can hold a blanket or pillow against the broken rib.
  • Physical activity is not entirely contraindicated. It is important for recovery to take walks or daily activities. The ideal is to spend the whole day immobile. In general, the activity is suggested by the doctor after verifying that the breathing exercises are being effective and that the pain is already under control.
  • You should not twist your torso even while sleeping.
  • Do not smoke , tobacco can make it difficult to breathe, even if only the smoke it gives off is repeated.
  • In the following article you will find an explanation about the foods you should eat to strengthen your bones .

When to go to emergencies

Rib fracture is accompanied by a number of symptoms that include: pain when breathing, pain when pressing on the sternum, insomnia, muscle pain in the wound, tiredness and difficulty moving. When a discomfort unrelated to the symptoms of a broken rib appears, it is important to be alert because it can be an indication of a complication during recovery. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is important that you go to the emergency room immediately:

  • Pain that prevents deep breathing or coughing.
  • Fever.
  • Increased mucus that you cough up.
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath or feeling of suffocation.
  • Skin rashes or drug allergies.

In the following article you will find the keys to know how to practice first aid for a fracture .

Full recovery

The rib fracture is diagnosed through an x-ray that shows the breakage of the affected bone and details if there is any other type of injury near the area that may be caused by the same trauma. To consider that a person is fully recovered after breaking a rib, it is necessary to examine whether they are breathing normally , whether they can cough heavily without pain, and whether they can move the trunk without any discomfort or difficulty.

However, for the doctor to be completely sure that the injury has healed and the bone is completely sealed, it is necessary to repeat the chest X-ray to verify that the fissure is no longer present in the rib and the person can resume their activities as usual. No matter how well the person feels, it is not recommended to make any type of effort that the doctor has prohibited until it is certain that the bone has completely healed.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How long does a broken rib take to heal , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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