In children, certain fractures should increase suspicion for nonaccidental trauma, including rib fracture, often in the context of delay to seek medical care or temporal or factual inconsistencies in patient history.
Depending on the location and number of fractured ribs, treatments include body repositioning, medication for pain and inflammation control (topical NSAIDs may be especially effective; resources for opioid prescribing guidelines, as well as nonopioid alternatives, can be found here), ventilation, and incentive spirometry. Elderly patients and those with pulmonary disease require close monitoring for complications due to secretions, including pneumonia, hypoventilation, and atelectasis.
S22.39XA – Fracture of one rib, unspecified side, initial encounter for closed fracture
S22.39XB – Fracture of one rib, unspecified side, initial encounter for open fracture
33737001 – Fracture of rib
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls