Duration of a broken rib

How long does it take to heal a broken rib?

The healing process after a broken rib is very dynamic.

In principle it is Healing process after a broken bone is very complex. It is a dynamic process, in which there is a breakdown of old bone tissue and then new one is built up.

The healing process of a broken rib is no exception and, like any other fracture, proceeds in successive regular phases. Depending on what type of fracture it is, there is primary or secondary bone healing. With those two types of bone healing and the severity of the fracture, the healing time also varies. In general, however, 12 weeks is a rough guide.

A simple fracture of the rib usually heals faster, as it comes to primary bone healing. The absence of a callus reaction and the fact that the fracture gap between the two broken ends is a maximum of 0.5 mm are characteristic of primary or direct bone healing.

The term callus describes the scar tissue of the healing bone, which can be shown by X-ray diagnostics. However, the callus tissue is typical for secondary wound healing. Secondary or indirect bone healing is relevant when the broken ribs have moved too far apart and the fracture gap is too large, so that the mechanical fixation of the fracture ends is inadequate.

Read more on the subject at: callus

This type of bone healing can occur in 4 phases to be grouped:
The initial phase starts approx. 8 hours after the fracture and includes the removal of the fracture hematoma. The duration of the initial phase varies depending on how strong this is.

Then, in the first two weeks after the rib fracture, the phase of callus formation follows, during which a connective tissue callus develops. With the onset of callus formation, the pain is relieved for the first time due to the relief and partially regained stability.

Following the callus formation, calcium crystals are deposited in the callus tissue up to the 6th week. From this point in time, there is a mechanically firm connection between the rib ends for the first time. This stability increases more and more in the last phase, the definitive bone callus formation, as the bone gains in differentiation.

Generally, a simple fracture heals mostly without complications and quickly. Make it more difficult Series of ribs or fractures that tend to be in the anterior chest area lie. The more pronounced one works on the back Musculature relieving and more supportive than muscles in the front part.

Is the broken rib a Series breakage or splinter fracture can the Indication of a surgery be asked. With the help of screws and plates, the bone is realigned and held in this position. This The healing process sometimes takes a little longer than the conservative treatment.

The type of break and the location are decisive for the duration. In addition, other factors can also influence the healing time. The Age, osteoporosis, and poor nutritional status (Underand Obesity) are considered factors that have a negative or unfavorable effect on the recovery time from a broken rib. You can also Complications in the form of injuries to other organs such as the liver, spleen, lung membrane or heart prolong the healing process.

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Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".
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In order to be able to treat successfully in orthopedics, a thorough examination, diagnosis and a medical history are required.
In our very economic world in particular, there is too little time to thoroughly grasp the complex diseases of orthopedics and thus initiate targeted treatment.
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The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

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Figure broken rib

Figure broken rib

A rib fracture (rib fracture)
B - pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
C - rib series break
D - broken rib
(Broken ribs)

  1. Collarbone - Clavicle
  2. Rib - Costa
  3. Ribs 1-7 (true ribs) -
    Costa 1-7 (Costae verae)
  4. Costal cartilage -
    Cartilago costalis
  5. Ribs 11
    (rudimentary ribs) -
    Costa 11 (Cost. fluctuantes)
  6. Ribs 8-10 (false ribs) -
    Costa 8-10 (Costae spuriae)
  7. Sternum handle -
    Manubrium sterni
  8. Right lung -
  9. Sternum body -
    Corpus sterni
  10. Left lung -
    Pulmo sinister
  11. Sword extension -
    Xiphoid process
  12. Ribs 12
    (rudimentary ribs) -
    Costa 12 (Cost. fluctuantes)
  13. Costal arch -
    Arcus costalis

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

On the other hand, a calcium-rich and balanced diet to have. Since the broken rib is a very painful injury is, sufferers often tend to take a relieving posture to relieve symptoms. However, the Breath excursion and the rib position changed unfavorably so that a Breathing training helpful can be so as not to impair the bony healing process. Possibly the healing time can be shortened if one Pay attention to his sleeping position at night. If you try to fall asleep on the side of the broken rib, the load puts the fracture ends in their physiological position and in this way can have a positive effect on the healing process.

During the healing process, you should Avoid carrying heavy items and instead Allow yourself some rest and protect the affected ribs by removing the physical activity reduced.