Overview of Rib Fracture Fixation Treatment India

A fractured rib is a common injury that occurs when one or more bones in the rib cage break. Rib fixation helps to relieve the symptoms. A ribcage has 12 pairs of ribs, which protect the heart and lungs, and support muscles of the upper body. Fracturing a rib can make it difficult to perform daily activities.

The most common cause behind rib fracture is chest trauma, such as accidents, hitting on the chest during contact sports, falling onto a hard surface, coughing hard, and more. There are other conditions that can lead to broken ribs without being hit, such as osteoporosis and cancerous lesions.

Most of the fractured ribs have just a small crack or hairline fractures, and they do not move out of place. It is painful but is not as serious as broken ribs. A broken rib can have a sharp edge and there is a chance it can cause serious injuries:

01. If the broken rib is on the top of the rib cage, the jagged end can tear or damage blood vessels

02. If the broken rib is in the middle of the rib cage, it can puncture a lung.

03. If the broken rib is on the bottom of the rib cage, it can damage the liver, spleen, or kidney.

The edge of a broken bone can damage internal organs or blood vessels. Generally, fractured ribs heal on their own in 1 or 2 months. However, pain due to fractured ribs should be controlled to continue breathing normally and avoiding other lung complications.

Types of Rib Fracture Fixation Treatment India

Rib Fixation Procedure

Most of the broken ribs heal on their own in 5-6 weeks. Doctors may recommend resting to expedite the healing process. One should avoid pushing, pulling, or lifting as it can worsen the pain. You can apply ice to the area for pain relief.

01. Medicines - The doctor may prescribe certain painkillers if it hurts to breathe deeply. If it does not help, the doctor may give you anesthesia around the nerves.

02. Therapy - Once pain is controlled, the doctor may recommend breathing exercises to breathe deeply because short breathing can put you at risk of getting pneumonia. Moreover, try to sleep in an upright position for the first few nights after the injury.

If more than one rib is fractured or there is severe damage, then surgery is required.

Rib Plating Procedure

The rib plating procedure reduces the pain and shortens the hospital stay. During the surgery, the doctor will use plates and screws to fix the broken ribs. This surgery will also treat the damage, if any, to internal organs, blood vessels, or nerves. The rib plating procedure steps include giving anesthesia to the patient followed by surgery. An incision is made over the broken ribs. The surgeon will insert titanium plates and screws to stabilize the broken ribs. It will minimize the pain and deformity of the ribcage. In addition to this, rib plating surgery complications are less or zero in some cases. This surgery is only performed when a patient has a flail chest.

Diagnosis of Rib Fracture Fixation Treatment India

Symptoms of Rib Fracture

One of the common rib fracture fixation indications is chest pain while breathing and inhaling deeply hurts more. Coughing, laughing, or sneezing starts sharp pains from the breakage site. Bending or twisting the upper body can start sudden pain. The other symptoms include:

01. Swelling or redness around the break

02. Bruising on the skin near fracture

03. Pain worsens when pressing on the injured area

Diagnosis of Rib Fracture

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and will check the painful area. He or she will examine lungs with a stethoscope when you breathe and watch if the rib cage goes up or down. If the doctor suspects a rib fracture, he or she may order one of these diagnostic tests:

01. MRI Scan - It produces images that show fractures and damage to soft tissue and organs.

02. X-Ray - This test can reveal 75% of broken ribs and other problems, such as collapsed lungs.

03. CT Scan - This test is recommended when the doctor thinks the X-ray missed something. It also shows damage, if any, done to soft tissue and organs.

04. Bone Scan - If the patient has a history of prostate cancer or stress fracture to a rib, this test can show the location of the damage.

Symptoms and Risk factors

Causes of Broken Rib

Ribs are protectors of your lungs and heart. A sudden or severe blow on the chest can fracture them. The main causes behind this fracture are:

01. Car accidents

02. Hit while playing contact sports like hockey, soccer, or football

03. Getting punched in the rib cage

04. Falling on a hard surface

05. Any kind of violence

06. Long-term repetitive actions, such as swinging a golf club

07. Coughing very hard repetitively

People at risk of broken ribs include:

01. Athletes who play contact sports or do frequent repetitive actions involving chest

02. Patients of osteoporosis. It is a type of disease that reduces bone density and makes them fragile to fractures

03. The cancerous lesion in the chest that can weaken the bone

Prevention of Rib Fracture

The following steps can help you to avoid rib fracture:

01. Wear protective equipment while playing contact sports to avoid athletic injuries

02. Reduce the risk of falling on the hard surfaces of the home by removing clutter from floors, cleaning spills immediately, using rubber slide-proof mats in the shower, and more.

03. Take supplements or include calcium and vitamin D in your diet to strengthen bones. You must get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 600 units of vitamin D daily.

Rib Fixation Surgery Recovery Time

Rib Fracture Fixation takes about 6 weeks to heal on its own. During this time, you need to avoid sports or anything that causes pain around the ribs. It is important to walk and do shoulder exercises (occasionally) to avoid mucus building in the lungs. The coughing may still be painful, you can hold a pillow against your chest while coughing this may ease the pain. You need to take prescribed medicines such as opioids. To reduce the rib fixation surgery recovery time, the doctor may ask you to do breathing exercise and hold breath as long as possible. 

Top Doctors for Rib Fracture Fixation in India

Empower your Health with the Expertise of Leading Medical Professionals.

Dr Krishnamoorthy K

Department of Orthopedics


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Dr. Avinash Date

Department of Orthopedics


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Dr. Bobby Jacob

Department of Orthopedics

Senior Consultant

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Dr. Ozcan Kalem

Department of Orthopedics


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Dr. Pankaj Bajaj

Department of Orthopedics


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Rib Fracture Fixation - Frequently Asked Questions

It is a surgical procedure to stabilize fractured ribs with titanium plates.

Generally, surgery is not required for broken ribs. It heals itself in about 6 to 8 weeks. However, the recovery time after rib plating surgery is 8 to 9 weeks.

In rib plating, a surgeon will make an incision on the broken rib. Then with the help of surgical instruments, the surgeon will place titanium plates across the fracture to fix it.

The common treatments for displaced ribs are pain control medicines, breathing exercises, and physical therapy. If all these non-surgical treatments fail, surgery is recommended to treat displaced ribs.

Surgeon places the plate and screw onto the bone to hold the rib in the right place so it heals properly.

Doctors recommend sleeping in an elevated position for the first few days after the fracture.

Take a rest as much as possible and avoid playing sports. You can take medicines and put ice on the fractured area to reduce pain. It is also recommended to take deep breaths to avoid pneumonia.

An orthopedic surgeon will treat fractured ribs.

Some of the common symptoms of broken ribs are chest pain while coughing, laughing, breathing, or moving, swelling around the ribs, and shortness of breath.

Consult your doctor when you experience severe pain while breathing or have discomfort in the chest.