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Doctor insights on: Can You Fracture A Rib From Coughing

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Dr. Al Hegab
792 Doctors shared insights

Fracture (Definition)

A fracture is a broken bone. As there is cartilage at the end of many bones at the joint, a fracture may also include a break in the cartilage. Fractures and broken bones are the same thing. It seems that many believe that a "fracture" is a lesser injury or an incomplete break in the bone, but this is not correct. Fractures may be displaced or ...Read more


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I've had cough. It's like a pulling sensation almost. Do you think I might've fractured a rib, advise?

I've had cough. It's like a pulling sensation almost. Do you think I might've fractured a rib, advise?

More likely: Intecostal muscle strain @ your age unless for some reason you have osteoporosis. Then a fierce cough can cause rib or vertebral Fx's. An evaluation by your PCB can be of great help. A hands on eval and images can give you an answer.

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Have a cough I can't shake off, extreme pain in ribs then developed limiting movement, pain has now improved but a hard lump is on my rib, fractured?

Have a cough I can't shake off, extreme pain in ribs then developed limiting movement, pain has now improved but a hard lump is on my rib, fractured?

Let me explain: To get red of that cough you have to use the right antibiotic, add to it some decongestant and breathing treatment, as far the lump it could be broken rib or it could costochondritis, x-ray will be able to show if the rib broken. It is not usual to pain in the ribs when you that sever cough. Good luck.

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Partner had accident 2yrs ago, fractured t9 ribs and "small" lung puncture. No surgery. Ongoing minor cough all seasons ever since. Any correlation?

Partner had accident 2yrs ago, fractured t9 ribs and "small" lung puncture. No surgery. Ongoing minor cough all seasons ever since. Any correlation?

Probably not: An isolated rib fracture and small pneumothorax should leave no lasting effects. If the cough is productive, especially mixed with blood, the initial injury may have been more severe than described. Follow up with your primary physician or get seen by a pulmonologist for a more complete examination and testing.

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Hi doctor, Is coughing up blood a sysptom of hairline fractured ribs Not like big amounts just on flemmy cough (green thick)?

No: Coughing up blood can be a sign of infection or pulmonary embolus or heart valve condition. If severely short of breath or chest pain or lightheaded go to emergency room. Otherwise see primary care doctor for specific diagnosis and treatment this is a serious symptom needs a evaluation

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My left collarbone is in continuous pain and I have a chest cough which has been going on for about 4 days. Could it be fractured?

My left collarbone is in continuous pain and I have a chest cough which has been going on for about 4 days. Could it be fractured?

Certainly there is: The possibility of rib or collar bone fracture with extreme coughing but it is more likely to be muscle spasm or strain. Other potential diagnoses include pneumothorax so it would be reasonable to seek health care evaluation as the symptoms have been persistent for four days. A Chest X-ray will tell the story.

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I have fractured a rib due to excessive coughing and seen my GP. Have I got osteoporosis or myeloma or can this just happen without these causes?

I have fractured a rib due to excessive coughing and seen my GP. Have I got osteoporosis or myeloma or can this just happen without these causes?

Ask your GP: Cough would not break normal BONES. You should ask your GP to send you to your Physician, get a bone density done and be sure that your blood levels of calcium and Vitamin-D are not low. You may need supplemental Vitamin-D and calcium.

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Could I have fractured a rib from coughing while I have pneumonia?

Could I have fractured a rib from coughing while I have pneumonia?

Yes: It is possible but not common. I'd consider muscle injury as a more likely culprit. The pain from that can continue for a month or more.

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Are rib fractures from severe coughing really a rare event?

Are rib fractures from severe coughing really a rare event?

Not exactly...: Young, otherwise healthy individuals that develop pain/tenderness with severe cough are not likely to have "broken a rib". Cough induced rib fractures generally occur in a specific segment of the population with or without predisposing conditions/pathology. This link may provide a summary: http://goo. Gl/qokhr.

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Blowing nose & heard a pop/crack noise from rib area. Now have severe sharp pain when moving, breathing, coughing, etc. Do u think it may be fractured?

Blowing nose & heard a pop/crack noise from rib area. Now have severe sharp pain when moving, breathing, coughing, etc. Do u think it may be fractured?

Maybe: But not that likely at your age / a good old muscle strain can be pretty painful for awhile either way it should be self limiting although may take several weeks to clear.

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How do I know if I have an intercostal muscle strain or a fractured rib from persistent, deep coughing/bronchitis?

How do I know if I have an intercostal muscle strain or a fractured rib from persistent, deep coughing/bronchitis?

Tough Call: I've seen ribs break from coughing. Can be hard to tell. If it hurts more pinpoint directly over bone the chances of a rib fracture are higher. Intercostal sprains are more diffuse, but they can also be pinpoint. Try ice packs, tylenol (acetaminophen) or Ibuprofen and give it a few days. If not getting better see your doc. If there is any trouble breathing or worsening pain, see your doc sooner.

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Could you get a fractured rib from just sneezing hard?

Could you get a fractured rib from just sneezing hard?

Possible: But very unlikely. You can, however, pull a muscle or dislodge rib/cartilage connections which is equally painful.

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How can I diagnose that my rib is fractured or bruised?

Xray! Rib injuries: Depending on the history of injury, x-rays may or may not be necessary, as treatment is generally symptomatic and no different from bruised ribs versus fractured ribs. However, to definitively diagnose whether a rib is fractured or bruised, x-rays or some other radiographic modality (mri, ct) would be needed.

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What couldcause a rib to fracture?

What couldcause a rib to fracture?

Mostly truma: The most common cause of a fractured rib is a direct blow to the chest, often from a car accident or a fall. Coughing hard can also fracture a rib. This is more likely to happen if you have a disease that has made your bones weak, such as osteoporosis or cancer. It is important to see a doctor after a rib injury. A blow that is hard enough to fracture a rib could also injure your lungs.

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How to treat fractured or bruised back ribs?

How to treat fractured or bruised back ribs?

Rest & time: Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for rib injuries. Any type of strapping or taping leads to complications such as pneumonia without aiding in recovery. Time, over the counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and gradually increasing activity as your discomfort allows is the treatment.

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,562 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


Dr. Jeffrey Wint
2,307 Doctors shared insights

Broken Bone (Definition)

Is it broken or fractured is a question I am often asked. The answer is basically that a broken or fractured bone is the same thing. A fracture means a break in the cortex or the strong layer of outer bone cells. In an adult the average time for that to heal varies greatly but is often considered to ...Read more