2 doctors weighed in:

How long does it take for fractured ribs to heal? Are there any huge risks of walking around with broken ribs?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marc Dehart
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Rib healing

No real good studies on rib fractures.
They can hurt for weeks or longer depending on how bad the fractures are. Usually walking around is good.

In brief: Rib healing

No real good studies on rib fractures.
They can hurt for weeks or longer depending on how bad the fractures are. Usually walking around is good.
Dr. Marc Dehart
Dr. Marc Dehart
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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine

In brief: Broken

Broken bones take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to heal.
Broken ribs will usually heal by about 3 months after the injury. The biggest risk of rib fractures is that they are painful, and as a result, tend to make you breathe more shallowly. By failing to fully inflate your lungs as you normally would, you can be at risk for pneumonia. Depending on how healthy you are, pneumonia can be a very serious and even life threatening complication. Furthermore, if you have injured yourself and think you may have broken ribs, you should seek immediate medical attention. The amount of force necessary to break a rib can also bruise or lacerate the lung, or even injure other internal organs. While the rib fracture itself may not be serious, the other associated injuries can be very serious.

In brief: Broken

Broken bones take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to heal.
Broken ribs will usually heal by about 3 months after the injury. The biggest risk of rib fractures is that they are painful, and as a result, tend to make you breathe more shallowly. By failing to fully inflate your lungs as you normally would, you can be at risk for pneumonia. Depending on how healthy you are, pneumonia can be a very serious and even life threatening complication. Furthermore, if you have injured yourself and think you may have broken ribs, you should seek immediate medical attention. The amount of force necessary to break a rib can also bruise or lacerate the lung, or even injure other internal organs. While the rib fracture itself may not be serious, the other associated injuries can be very serious.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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