If you've been in a car accident, it's important to understand your risk of rib injuries. There are many types of rib injuries that can result from a car accident, but one of the most common is an injury caused when the force of the accident pushes your body forward into the seat belt. This can cause some compression around your rib area, causing injury. Here's a look at what you need to know about rib injuries and how to deal with them.
Types of Rib Injuries
There are three basic rib injury categories, and understanding each one can help you to identify the type of injury that you're suffering from.
A soft tissue injury is one where the bone isn't fractured, but the tissue surrounding it is wounded. A few of the soft tissue injuries that you may experience include bruising, strains and separation of the costal cartilage from the ribs.
If you strike your seat belt with enough force, it may fracture your ribs. A fracture can occur whether your car is struck from the front or the rear.
A flail chest injury is one of the most significant concerns. It occurs when you have 3 ribs or more broken in multiple places.
Symptoms of a Rib Injury
Some rib injuries can cause immediate symptoms, but in many cases, the symptoms of the injury are delayed a few days. It can be tough to narrow down the source of your pain as your ribs, particularly when the pain radiates around the front of your chest as well as into your back. Here are some of the symptoms you should watch for after an accident.
- A grinding sensation when you move at the waist
- Pain when you move your ribs
- Discomfort around your ribcage
- A tight feeling around your chest area
- Breathing problems
- Bubbling sensation in your chest
No matter which of these symptoms you're experiencing, it's essential that you get medical treatment right away. Not only can neglecting an injury like this lead to serious complications, but it can also leave you without the necessary documentation for a personal injury lawsuit.
Treatment for a Rib Injury
Rib injury treatments will vary based on the severity of the injury. Unlike some fractures, you cannot just put a cast on a fractured rib. Rib fractures usually have to be left to heal, though you may be prescribed a pain reliever to help you through. Sometimes, you'll also be advised to stay on bed rest for a while or treat your discomfort with ice.
If you've been diagnosed with a rib injury after a car accident, talk with a personal injury attorney about your options for filing a claim. One company that may meet your needs is Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.