Possible Causes of Rib Fracture

As explained by the Spiros Law Firm attorneys, the blunt force trauma that is often associated with catastrophic accidents can result in a range of serious injuries, including broken bones and internal scarring.

Bone fracture, which is the clinical term for broken bone, refers to a crack or a break in a bone that is caused by a strong force exerted against it. The most common sites where bones easily fracture are the arms, legs, hips, skull and ribs; the last two are the most dangerous since these can lead to complications and render the injury life-threatening.

Complications of bone fractures include:

Stunted bone growth, which can occur if the fracture occurs close to the joint where the growth plates are located;

Blood loss; and,

Injury to tissues and/or organs, such as injury to the brain due to skull fracture or injury to chest organs due to rib fracture.

Rib fracture, in particular, is a crack or break in one or more bones that make up the rib cage; it could also refer to a break in the cartilage which connects the ribs to the breastbone. When two or more ribs in more than one place are broken, the result is a flail chest, which is a life-threatening medical condition.

Our ribs have two main jobs: protect the organs in our chest and provide space for the muscles to squeeze in or contract as we breathe. When one has a fractured rib or, worse, a flail chest, breathing becomes difficult and painful since the lungs are left with less space whenever it opens to allow air to flow in.

Besides chest trauma which may be due to a fall, a motor vehicle accident or a forceful blow during a contact sport, rib fracture may also be due to repetitive trauma from sports like rowing and golf, severe and prolonged coughing, application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or factors that weaken the bone (like osteoporosis and cancerous lesion), making it more more susceptible to fracture. Now, though it is true that many cases of broken ribs are merely cracks and so usually heal on their own within a month or two, these can still make breathing both hard and painful.

Any type of bone fracture will definitely require necessitate medical treatment (continued medical treatment if it is serious). Taking legal action against the person liable for your injury, whether due to his/her action or lack of action, for the purpose of seeking compensation for any past and future expenses may help the victim pay for the medical treatment necessary for his/her recovery.

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