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Test Findings
 
 

Rib Fractures

 
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Overview

The chest x-ray often reveals old or new rib fractures, however x-rays have poor sensitivity for diagnosing rib fractures and these may often be missed. The diagnosis is usually made clinically or with further imaging as appropriate.
  • Interpretation

  • Acute rib fractures - visible fracture line with no periosteal reaction or callus; may be displaced
  • Old rib fractures - periosteal reaction, loss of fracture line definition or callus formation may be present; may be angulated
  • Causes of Rib Fracture

  • Trauma - blunt, penetrating, CPR
  • Pathologic fractures - solid organ malignancy, multiple myeloma
  • Stress fractures - athletes, repeated coughing
  • Examples

  • Multiple right-sided rib fractures which are likely acute
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    Multiple right-sided rib fractures which are likely acute
     
  • Old right-sided rib fractures
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    Old right-sided rib fractures
     
  • Old right-sided rib fractures
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    Old right-sided rib fractures
     
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