What is a Dislocated Rib? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Rib Dislocation?

dislocated rib

Dislocated rib can be caused by several factors ranging from a simple cough to severe occasions when the rib cage or general chest area comes in contact with an intense blunt force, twist or sudden movement. Rib dislocations are not rare albeit to the perception of the general public. Other than dislocating a rib, one can experience other rib injuries such as rib separation, this happens when the rib head and adjoining bones get separated from the sternum or spinal cord. These rib injuries can happen to anyone whether young, old, babies and even pregnant women!

Pain under the rib cage is one of the classical symptoms of any rib injury! depending on which part of the ribcage was affected, you may experience pain radiating under the left or under right rib, it’s best to get it checked out by a certified doctor in order to rule out a possible rib injury.

What are The Causes of Dislocated Ribs

As the chest cavity is a larger part of the body, it is in a forefront position and is prone to injuries. During these situations, when a person gets injured, ribs are first on the “strike” and these are situations when dislocations and fractures can happen. Younger persons don’t suffer from broken, fractured or dislocated ribs in the back or front as much as older persons because younger ribs are more elastic, while due to a lack of cartilage and the presence of senior osteoporosis, elderly’s ribs are much more prone to fractures.

some of the causes of rib dislocation may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Lifting heavy weight at home or at the gym
  • Blunt force trauma to the chest wall
  • automobile accidents – car, bike etc.
  • Old age
  • costochondritis

Since the medium part of the chest is the most forward positioned, fractured ribs, such as a displaced rib fracture, happen more often to medium ribs, and least in the case of the upper three ribs that are in a way “hidden” behind the collar bone. Localization of the fracture is most common on the frontal and back curve and caused either by direct or indirect force. When it comes to dislocation, lower ribs are most prone to such situations, and also either due to direct or indirect force.

Rib injuries usually happen due to a direct injury, which is common in sports such as rugby, football, hockey, skiing, etc. Rib injuries are also common in traffic accidents and due to a fall from height.

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