Because many broken ribs are caused by motor vehicle accidents, you may find out you have a broken rib in a hospital's emergency department. If your broken rib was caused by repetitive stress over time, you may seek advice from your family physician.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For broken ribs, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- How long will I be in pain?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask any additional questions you may think of during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask:
March 04, 2014
- Where exactly does it hurt?
- When did the pain start?
- Did anything precipitate it?
- Does any action make the pain better or worse?
- Eiff MP, et al. Fracture Management for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Karlson KA. Initial evaluation and management of rib fractures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Fractures. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/fractures_dislocations_and_sprains/fractures.html?qt=fractures&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Safran MR, et al. Instructions for Sports Medicine Patients. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 28, 2013.
- What is a heart attack? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartattack. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.
- Preventing falls and related fractures. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent_falls_ff.asp. Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.