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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Rib Fractures-Significant Trauma & Conclusive Diagnosis

Rib Fractures-Significant Trauma & Conclusive Diagnosis

The presence of rib fractures in blunt force chest trauma, such as an automobile accident, indicates significant trauma. The greater the number of ribs involved, the greater the risk for complications and even death. Additional injuries, such as punctured lungs, infections, and internal lacerations, are all valid concerns, some of which may be related more to the force of trauma than the rib fractures themselves. Sirmali et al. (2003) state that, “…patients with three or more fractured ribs should be hospitalized…” (p. 136). They also recommended that “elderly patients with six or more [rib] fractures [be treated] in the intensive care units.” (Sirmali et al., 2003, p. 136). This is due to high rates of complications. Many times fractures go undetected, causing chronic pain and disability. Although plain film radiographs are common, nuclear medicine, particularly bone scan technology, has a high sensitivity to fracture detection and can be positive for up to two years post trauma. Most doctors overlook this technology, that has proven successful for decades, in concluding an accurate diagnosis.


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If you have recently been in a car accident, or had a personal injury, sports injury, or exercise injury, and are experiencing back pain, neck pain, knee pain, whiplash, headaches, leg pain, etc, our San Antonio injury chiropractors can help!

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Sirmali, M., Türüt, H., Topçu, S., Gülhan, E., Yazici, U., Kaya, S., & Taştepe, I. (2008). A comprehensive analysis of traumatic rib fractures: Morbidity, mortality and management. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, 24(1), 133-138.



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