Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Explore these free sample topics:
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- Result of major or minor thoracic trauma
- Can be classified as traumatic or pathologic
- Blunt thoracic trauma:
- Simple fall, fall from height
- Motor vehicle crash
- Penetrating trauma is a less likely cause.
- Ribs usually break at the point of impact or the posterior angle, the structurally weakest region
- Stress fractures in upper and middle ribs can occur with recurrent, high force movements:
- Athletic activities: Golf, rowing, throwing
- Severe cough
- Pathologic fractures associated with minor trauma or significant underlying disease:
- Advanced age
- Relatively elastic chest wall makes rib fractures less common in children.
- Consider nonaccidental trauma for infants and toddlers without appropriate mechanism.
- Obtain a skeletal survey to assess for other fractures in infants suspected of being abused
- Elderly are more prone to rib fractures as well as atelectasis, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and other associated complications.
- Morbidity and mortality are twice that found in younger populations.