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A rib fracture is a crack or break in one of the bones of the rib cage.
A rib fracture is most often caused by a direct blow to the chest. Other causes include forceful coughing or having thin bones (such as from osteoporosis or cancer).
A rib fracture can be very painful:
The treatment for a rib fracture that does not occur with a more serious injury is usually rest, ice to the area, and medicine to relieve pain.
Last Revised: April 16, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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