Rib fractures (right 4th-6th)

Case contributed by Dr Henry Knipe

Presentation

Fall.

Patient Data

Age: 45
Gender: Male
X-ray

Right 4th-6th ribs are fractured anteriorly, mildly displaced. No pneumothorax or other abnormality. 

Case Discussion

Undisplaced or anterior rib fractures can be difficult to appreciate on normal PA projections. 

Dedicated oblique views to detect rib fractures are not normally warranted because the treatment between traumatic chest pain with and without fractures does not differ markedly as treatment is symptomatic relief. However, PA projections should be obtained to assess for complications (e.g. pneumonia, pneumothorax, haemothorax) 1. Chest x-rays (even with optimised projections) may miss up to 50% of rib fractures 2.

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Case information

rID: 30699
Case created: 29th Aug 2014
Last edited: 6th Sep 2015
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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