eISSN: 1897-4252
ISSN: 1731-5530
Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska/Polish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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vol. 15
Original paper

Do we really know the duration of pain after rib fracture?

Cumhur Murat Tulay, Sadik Yaldiz, Adnan Bilge

Kardiochirugia i Torakochirugia Polska 2018; 15 (3): 147-150
Online publish date: 2018/09/24
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The duration of pain after rib fracture is the question physicians are most frequently asked. The duration of pain following a traumatic rib fracture without any comorbidity is not widely published.

We report our experience to investigate the duration of pain following isolated traumatic rib fractures without any traumatic comorbidity.

Material and methods
We examined 182 patients with isolated rib fracture without any trauma to other body parts. The numeric rating scale (NRS) for pain was used to rate the level of pain. The NRS pain scores were evaluated in the emergency department at presentation, on the 15th day, and at the 3rd and 6th months of trauma. The Mann-Whitney U test was performed for the statistical analysis.

The pain level of young patients on the 15th day and at the third month and sixth month was lower than that in the old group, and the difference was statistically significant. While patients with two rib fractures had a higher pain level in the emergency room than those with one rib fracture, there was no statistically significant difference at other time points. In patients with anterior fractures, the pain level was significantly lower than in the lateral and posterior regions, whereas in the lateral fractures, the pain score was significantly higher than others at all time points except at the 6th month. The pain score of displaced fractures was significantly higher than that of non-displaced ones at all time points except the 6-month follow-up.

Rib fractures cause significant pain and need appropriate medication. The time of the 6th month could be an important milestone.


rib fracture, chest trauma, pain, chest pain

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