Suffering from a broken rib is painful and frustrating. Unfortunately, many times there is little that can be done to alleviate the pain that comes along with a broken rib. A broken rib can also cause secondary injuries such as a punctured lung. The broken rib and the complications it can cause can lead to long-term complications.
If you believe that you have suffered from a broken rib, you should take the time to seek the care of a medical professional. She will be able to determine the severity and prescribe any medications that may be needed. She will also be able to tell you what you need to do in order to heal properly.
The first step the doctor will need to take is to determine whether or not a rib bone is broken. She will do this by:
- Pushing on your chest. One of the common ways to determine whether a rib bone is broken is to push on the chest to find out where the pain is coming from.
- Examining your breathing. The doctor may examine your breathing pattern. She will also listen to your lungs to make sure that the air is entering and exiting the lungs properly.
- X-rays. If your doctor is unsure about your symptoms, you may need x-rays or other types of diagnostic imaging. Unfortunately, rib fractures do not always show up on x-ray films.
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