HealthDiseases and Conditions

Fracture of the ribs: types, diagnosis, first aid

Fractures of the ribs are the most common injuries of the chest. Especially they are exposed to the elderly. Their ribs have less elasticity and do not tolerate deformations as well as those of younger ones. Fractures of the ribs come in the following types:

  • Cracks;
  • Subperiosteal;
  • Complete.

The easiest are the cracks.

Mechanisms of injury development

As a rule, people break 5-8th ribs. Less often - 11th and 12th. This is due to the different level of mobility of the distal ends. In the case of direct injuries caused by small, angular solid objects, a limited portion of the costal arch breaks. Usually, the fracture happens directly at the site of the impact of the traumatic force. First, the internal surface of the rib breaks, and then the outer surface.

If a significant force acts on more extensive areas of the arc, then their breaking and pressing inside happens. Such fractures are called double or final fractures. As a rule, these injuries are accompanied by ruptures of the pleura, muscles, vessels. If the mechanical force acts on a large area, a mobile zone is formed in the chest , which is called the "rib valve". A complete fracture of the ribs usually provokes a displacement of the bone fragments. At exhalation their occurrence is observed, and at an inspiration - distribution. With such injuries, there are often ruptures of the pleura and lungs with pneumothorax, hemothorax, subcutaneous emphysema, hemoptysis. It should be understood that a severe fracture of the ribs may well lead to a fatal outcome . Home treatment is possible only for not too serious injuries (if the doctor allows). For example, cracks or fractures of not more than 1-2 ribs.

Symptomatics and Diagnosis

Fractures of the ribs are characterized by sharp pain in the place of injury. It becomes stronger with deep breaths and coughing. Patients tend to breathe superficially, but often. They are forced to occupy the optimal position, which ensures the damaged zone maximum peace. In such traumas, a symptom of interrupted inhalation appears. The person tries very slowly, but deeply to inhale, however after occurrence of sudden sharp pain stops process. With palpation, there is local soreness, and sometimes crepitus. However, the latter is not observed in the places of fractures of the cartilaginous ribs. With fractures of a multiple nature, cardio-respiratory disorders are often noted, as well as symptoms of internal organ damage. This can lead to the development of respiratory failure. As a rule, with external examination there are:

  • Tachypnea;
  • Pallor of the skin;
  • Stable tachycardia;
  • Chest sinking (fragments);
  • cyanosis;
  • When breathing asymmetric movements of the chest wall.

The severity of the patient's condition depends on the location of the injury and the number of broken ribs.

First aid

The primary measure is anesthesia. To do this, it is not necessary to give the patient analgesics or block them with a damaged area. Sometimes it is enough simply to give a person a comfortable position. Then you need to fix the chest as soon as possible. Because any careless movement not only causes pain, but also increases the likelihood of increased bleeding from damaged tissues. To stabilize the bone fragments of the chest, a circular fixation bandage is applied at the fracture of the ribs. It can be made from bandage or improvised materials. On probable places where there were fractures of ribs, it is necessary to put cotton-gauze pads.

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