6 doctors weighed in:
What can a doctor do about a broken rib? I've not heard of a "cast" for rib fractures.
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. David Tuckman
Surgery - Hand Surgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Give it time
There is no specific treatment required for a broken rib.
These heal in approximately 4-6 weeks.

In brief: Give it time
There is no specific treatment required for a broken rib.
These heal in approximately 4-6 weeks.
Dr. David Tuckman
Dr. David Tuckman
Thank
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends
It depends on if the broken rib needs surgery or not.
Certain rib fracture patterns (multiple consecutive rib fractures/etc) really benefit from surgery. There is good evidence in the scientific literature supporting this. Single rib fracture(s) are typically treated with pain medication and use of the incentive spirometry device.

In brief: Depends
It depends on if the broken rib needs surgery or not.
Certain rib fracture patterns (multiple consecutive rib fractures/etc) really benefit from surgery. There is good evidence in the scientific literature supporting this. Single rib fracture(s) are typically treated with pain medication and use of the incentive spirometry device.
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Thank
Dr. Andrew DeGruccio
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Pain control
Mostly, the md can provide pain control thru meds.
Otherwise, not many options. Strapping or wrapping of rib fractures has fallen out of favor secondary to potential breathing and/or pneumonia concerns. Tight wrapping about the rib cage does help pain, but the wrapping should not be left on 24 hrs. Sleeping almost sitting up with a few pillows helps with night time pain.

In brief: Pain control
Mostly, the md can provide pain control thru meds.
Otherwise, not many options. Strapping or wrapping of rib fractures has fallen out of favor secondary to potential breathing and/or pneumonia concerns. Tight wrapping about the rib cage does help pain, but the wrapping should not be left on 24 hrs. Sleeping almost sitting up with a few pillows helps with night time pain.
Dr. Andrew DeGruccio
Dr. Andrew DeGruccio
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
23 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors