Car accidents can cause a driver or passenger to break virtually any bone in the body. One common bone that crash victims break is the rib. If you've broken a rib in a collision, you're probably in a lot of pain and -- at the same time -- curious how doctors treat this injury.
Advice for healing a broken rib
Get ready to wait: The majority of broken bones will take approximately six weeks to mend. For this reason, those who suffer a broken rib should expect their healing process to take some time.
Rest: Individuals with broken ribs should not engage in vigorous physical activity while they're on the mend. This means that they should not play sports or carry out hard physical labor.
Use ice: Ice may help to alleviate some of this pain while reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing process.
Take over-the-counter pain meds: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help patients with broken ribs deal with the pain.
Practice deep breathing: Because of the pain associated with a broken rib, some who suffer from this condition could develop shallow breathing, which may lead to pneumonia. Deep breathing exercises are essential to keep the lungs healthy.
Surgical procedures: Usually, a broken rib will heal with the above treatments, but if it causes a punctured lung, various surgical procedures could be needed to aid in the healing process. In rare cases, a metal plate could be needed to provide support for a severely broken rib.
Do you have a broken rib after a vehicle crash?
The time spent away from work and the medical care associated with a broken rib could be costly and unaffordable for many car accident victims. If you're currently suffering from this medical condition after a vehicle collision, you might want to investigate whether you can pursue a legal claim for damages.