Your Advocate In Serious Injury Claims

Can rib fractures be serious?

Rib fractures are a common type of injury suffered in both car accidents and motorcycle crashes. However, motorcyclists are especially exposed because they do not have the protection of an outer metal shell.

While rib fractures are notoriously painful, in many cases, the injury will heal on its own within a few months. However, severe rib fractures have the potential to cause the following complications.

Breathing problems

Breathing requires your lungs to be able to expand and contract in the same areas as your rib cage. There are various muscles in the diaphragm that are involved in this process. If the ribs are fractured, then it is highly likely that the muscles in the diaphragm have been bruised. Even the lungs themselves can be bruised. The pain from the fractured ribs and damaged surrounding areas can make it very difficult to breathe, which is a serious issue that requires medical attention and pain management.

Organ damage

Rib fractures can cause parts of bones to break away and damage vital organs such as:

       The heart. Severe rib fractures can rupture the aorta, which is a life-threatening situation.

       The liver. A fractured rib may cause damage to the liver. Some of the most common symptoms of this include severe abdominal pain and swelling, increased heart rate and nausea. Again, this is a potentially life-threatening situation so immediate medical attention is pivotal.

       The spleen. A rib fracture can also damage the spleen. Victims should seek medical attention if they have pain in the upper left area of their stomach, the left shoulder or feel dizzy and light headed.

These are just some of the most common complications resulting from rib fractures, but the only way to know for sure what is happening to a fracture victim is to seek a medical evaluation. This should be done immediately after an accident occurs.

If you have been injured because someone else acted negligently, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. The more legal information you have at your disposal, the stronger your claim may prove to be.