A rib fracture is a crack or break in one of the bones of the rib cage.
A rib fracture is most often caused by a direct blow to the chest. Other causes include forceful coughing or having thin bones (such as from osteoporosis or cancer).
A rib fracture can be very painful:
The treatment for a rib fracture that does not occur with a more serious injury is usually rest, ice to the area, and medicine to relieve pain.
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Current as ofJune 4, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise