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 you break a rib because of repetitive stress over time, you'll likely see your primary care provider.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment
What you can do
Before you see your primary care provider, make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason you made the appointment
- Key personal information, including recent accidents
- All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
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?
- How can I best manage this with my other health conditions?
- Do I need to restrict my activities?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Where is your pain?
- Are your symptoms continuous or occasional?
- How severe is your pain?
- Did anything happen to cause it?
- Does any action make the pain better or worse?
Jan. 12, 2016
- Karlson KA. Initial evaluation and management of rib fractures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 30, 2015.
- Eiff MP, et al. Rib fractures. In: Fracture Management for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 30, 2015.
- Bulger EM. Inpatient management of traumatic rib fracture. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 30, 2015.
- 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. 30, 2015.