What are common causes of rib fractures?

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

  • Blunt trauma, including motor vehicle crashes (most common mechanism [10] ) assault, and falls, especially down staircases [11, 12]

  • Motorcycle drivers are at greater risk for rib fractures compared with motorcycle passengers (57.1% vs 23.8%, p=0.05). [13]

  • Coughing spells

  • Nonaccidental trauma in pediatric cases [15]

  • Repetitive minor trauma [16]

  • Stress fractures to the first rib in throwing athletes [16]

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