Readers ask: What Can Be Done For Broken Ribs In The Elderly?

The key to rib fracture treatment is pain control, breathing exercises to maintain the lungs fully inflated, and physical therapy. Because the risk of complications increases with age, older patients may require hospitalization, sometimes in an intensive care unit.

What helps broken ribs in elderly?

How is a fractured rib treated?

  • Put ice on the injured area.
  • Get extra rest.
  • Take pain medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain medicine if over-the-counter medicines don’t work.

Can the hospital do anything for a broken rib?

Most people with broken ribs do not need surgery. In the emergency room, you may have received a strong medicine (such as a nerve block or narcotics) if you were in severe pain. You will not have a belt or a bandage around your chest because these would keep your ribs from moving when you breathe or cough.

What happens if you leave a broken rib untreated?

When untreated, rib fractures will lead to serious short-term consequences such as severe pain when breathing, pneumonia and, rarely, death. Long-term consequences include chest wall deformity, chronic pain and decreased lung function.

What is the immediate treatment for fractured ribs?

Today, treatment for broken ribs typically focuses on a combination of rest, pain management, and breathing exercises. Indications for surgical intervention include a flail chest (three or more adjacent ribs broken in multiple places) or multiple rib fractures that are causing breathing problems.

Is a heating pad good for broken ribs?

Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. After 2 or 3 days, if your swelling is gone, put a heating pad set on low or a warm cloth on your chest. Some doctors suggest that you go back and forth between hot and cold.

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What causes rib fractures in elderly?

Motor vehicle, motorcycle and snowmobile accidents cause rib fractures in the elderly population, but far and away the biggest mechanism of injury for rib fracture in older adults involves falls from standing height or from ladders or step stools.

Is there a difference between a fractured rib and a broken rib?

A fractured rib occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks. A broken rib is a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks.

What is the best way to sleep with broken ribs?

Sleeping While Sitting Upright Ideally, this is the best sleep position for patients with a broken rib. This position can help your ribs heal quickly than lying down on the bed. Sleeping while lying down may exert unwanted pressures on the spine, which might be transferred to the ribs.

What are the worst ribs to break?

The middle ribs are most commonly fractured. Fractures of the first or second ribs are more likely to be associated with complications. Diagnosis can be made based on symptoms and supported by medical imaging. Pain control is an important part of treatment.

How long does it take for broken ribs to stop hurting?

It takes about six weeks for broken ribs to heal on their own. During this time, you should avoid activities that could further injure your ribs. That means sports and heavy lifting are off the table. If anything causes you to feel pain around your ribs, stop immediately and hold off until you’re healed.

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How do people with broken ribs sit up?

Deep breathing helps you to clear the mucus from your lungs to prevent chest infections or a collapsed lung. Step 1: Sit upright in a chair and place your hands over your fractured rib area. You can also hold a pillow to your chest for support. Step 2: Take a deep breath, and slowly and gently fill your lungs.

Do Broken ribs get worse before getting better?

Recovery from rib fractures The worst pain is usually the first 1-2 weeks and gets gradually better after that.

Is there physical therapy for broken ribs?

Although painful, most simple rib fractures do not require surgery but instead time, rest and physical therapy can help with healing and maintaining range of motion.

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