Fracture of ribs and sternum


Diagnosis and treatment of a chest fracture

First aid

In case of a fractured thorax, it is important to give the victim first aid in time. Often this is necessary before the arrival of doctors. Relieve pain and reduce swelling with ice. Keep the cold in the place of damage should be no more than 20 minutes, after which the hour break should be followed. This will prevent frostbite.

Shrinking traffic and breathing clothing on the victim must be undone, help him take the most comfortable position and do not allow to move and talk. When the pain becomes unbearable, painkillers are used, for example, Baralgin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac or Ketoral. If the fracture is open, the injury site is treated with an antiseptic solution and covered with a towel or a clean cloth on top.


You can diagnose a fracture of the thorax by making an X-ray. Determining the damage to soft tissues or internal organs allows computed tomography.


Bandages for chest fractures are not used, as they restrict breathing, interfere with recovery and promote the development of certain diseases, like pneumonia or pleurisy. A tight bandage of the chest is only necessary to transport the patient.

If a fracture without bias is applied, a wide adhesive patch is used to fix the area of ​​the injury. After 2 weeks it is removed. In the presence of displacements, a reposition is performed beforehand, and then the fracture site is also fixed. Surgery is resorted to if there is a risk of damage to the internal organs of the fragments.

Medication requires primarily anesthesia. To do this, use the mediastinal and intercostal novocain blockades. During the procedure, the victim should be in a sitting position. To eliminate strong pain, inject Promedol solution intravenously. If there are no contraindications, prolonged epidural anesthesia is recommended. The patient is also given expectorants, decongestants and anti-inflammatory drugs, and physiotherapy procedures are performed.

In order to recreate the integrity of the sternum’s “skeleton” and normalize the rhythm of breathing with numerous fractures (more than five ribs), specific immobilization is used. Produce a constant stretch behind the sternum and ribs, they are fixed with the support of special plastic tires that overlap the area of ​​the chest. In cases of bilateral multiple fracture of ribs with flotation of the anterior part of the sternum, long-term stretching is used for the ribs and sternum with special bullet forceps and strong threads.


Splicing of fractures of the chest occurs within one month. The workability is restored in 4-5 weeks after complete adhesion. If several ribs were broken, you can return to work after 1.5-2 months.

After the fusion of the bones, the patient is given respiratory exercises, massage and physical exercises. Some time daily, you have to pull the chest with an elastic bandage. Increase the physical load should be gradually. Gymnastics is performed on the recommendation and with the permission of the doctor. It should include exercises for posture and flexibility. They allow avoiding atrophy of the muscles of the chest.

Positive impact on the health and well-being of patients with fractures of the ribs and sternum is provided by the swimming pool, water aerobics, outdoor games. But even a few months after complete rehabilitation, the area of ​​injury should not be loaded, since the risk of new cracks is large.


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