What activity restrictions are needed following rib fracture?

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

Return to work or sport depends on the activity involved and the level of pain. Heavy labor and intensive training for athletes with stress fractures are not recommended for the first 3 weeks. When pain is not present at rest, the patient can begin to increase his or her activity level but this should be gradually done. Most rib fractures heal within 6 weeks. Many patients are able to resume daily activities much sooner. [25]

Virtually all nonpathologic rib fractures heal well with conservative management. Some patients are able to return to work within a few days, depending on their occupation. [25]


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