Rib Fracture Questions & Answers

Updated: Jun 13, 2017
  • Author: Sarah L Melendez, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is a simple rib fracture?

How does the location of the rib fracture affect mortality?

What is the most common mechanism of injury for rib fractures?

What is the role of radiography in the diagnosis of rib fractures?

How is pain managed in patients with rib fracture?

What is the function of the chest wall in rib fractures?

How do rib fractures compromise ventilation?

What is the usual mechanism of rib fracture in motor vehicle accidents?

Where are the ribs most likely to fracture?

Why is the risk of rib fractures lower in children?

What is the prevalence of rib fractures?

How does the prevalence of rib fractures vary by age?

What is the mortality rate for rib fractures?

What is the prognosis of a rib fracture?

What activity restrictions are needed following rib fracture?

Presentation

What should be the focus of history in suspected rib fracture?

Which physical findings suggest rib fracture?

What are common causes of rib fractures?

DDX

What are the differential diagnoses for Rib Fracture?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies in the evaluation of rib fractures?

What is the role of chest radiographs in the evaluation of rib fractures?

What is the role of rib radiographs in the evaluation of rib fractures?

What is the role of bedside ultrasonography in the evaluation of rib fractures?

What is the role of chest CT scan in the evaluation of rib fracture?

What is the role of angiography in the evaluation of rib fracture?

What is the role of bone scan in the evaluation of rib fracture?

What is the role of MRI in the evaluation of rib fracture?

Treatment

What is included in prehospital care of a suspected rib fracture?

What are the initial goals of rib fracture emergency care?

What is the role of CT scans in the emergency management of rib fracture?

When is hospitalization indicated for the treatment of rib fractures?

When should patients be discharged from the hospital following treatment for a rib fracture?

Which specialist consultations are needed for the treatment of rib fracture?

When should inpatient care be considered for patients with rib fracture?

Which patient groups should be receive inpatient care for a rib fracture?

What is the role of epidural analgesia in the treatment of rib fractures?

What are the benefits of epidural analgesia in the treatment of rib fractures?

What is the role of an intrapleural catheter in the treatment of rib fractures?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of rib fracture?

What are possible complications of a rib fracture?

Guidelines

What are the American College of Radiology (ACR) appropriateness criteria for rib fracture?

Medications

What is the goal of drug treatment for a rib fracture?

Which medications in the drug class Analgesics are used in the treatment of Rib Fracture?

Which medications in the drug class Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used in the treatment of Rib Fracture?