What is the prognosis of a rib fracture?

Updated: Jun 13, 2017
  • Author: Sarah L Melendez, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Isolated rib fractures in younger patients have a good prognosis. Older patients have a higher incidence of significant pulmonary complications. In one study, 16% of patients 65 years and older with isolated blunt chest trauma had some delayed adverse event, defined as pneumonia, ARDS, unanticipated intubation, need to transfer patient to ICU for hypoxemia, and death from pulmonary sequelae. [20]


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