Rib Fractures Cause Nerve Damage
Rib Fractures Cause Nerve Damage – When people are involved in a traumatic accident, there are several different injuries that they might sustain. Some of these are bone fractures, which can occur from both penetrating and blunt trauma. For those involved in a car accident, rib fractures are a particularly important concern. People can break their ribs when their chest impacts the steering wheel or the dashboard. This can have numerous other health consequences that must be addressed. According to a research paper published a few years ago by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine:
- The most commonly sustained thoracic injury sustained in a car accident is a rib fracture.
- 93% of those who wore their seat belt yet were still killed in a car accident sustained a rib fracture.
- Rib fractures are more commonly fatal in the elderly population than their younger peers.
- For each rib fractured, the risk of internal organ or tissue damage rises by about 10 percent.
- Many of the life-threatening complications include a collapsed lung and flail chest.
Furthermore, everyone who sustains a rib fracture is at risk of damaging one of the many nerves that runs beneath each of the ribs.
The Intercostal Nerves
The ribs protect the heart and lungs from damage. Between the ribs are muscles that help to expand and contract the cell wall. These are called the intercostal muscles and are powered by the intercostal nerves. These nerves run directly beneath each of the ribs and allow people to expand and contract their rib cage. These nerves arise from the spinal cord and travel throughout the chest, back, and arms. Like other nerves, they provide both motor and sensory function. Damage to these nerves can lead to a loss of these important functions which can lead to severe symptoms.
Intercostal Nerve Damage from a Rib Fracture
When someone sustains a fracture of one or more ribs, there are significant symptoms that might develop. Because these nerves run directly beneath every rib, they are prone to be damaged with any rib fracture. Some of the symptoms that people might experience:
- Pain in and around the ribs
- Pain that radiates throughout the upper chest and upper back
- A feeling that someone is squeezing the rib cage
- Numbness and tingling that radiates throughout the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain that gets worse with inhalation
- Paralysis of the chest wall
These are serious symptoms that deserve the attention of a doctor. Respiratory distress is not something that should ever be taken lightly.
Treatment of Nerve Injuries
When someone sustains a nerve injury, there are a lot of side effects that people might experience. Some of these include:
- Chronic pain that comes from the damaged nerve.
- A loss of motor function.
- Issues with the perception of temperature and proprioception (coordination).
While it is true that many people can sustain nerve injuries that could lead to permanent losses of function, it is also possible for people to regain some of this function with the right type of physical therapy. Therefore, it is important for everyone who suffers a nerve injury to seek out professional care as early as possible. The earlier this treatment starts the better the chance is that the individuals will regain some of their function.
Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The ribs play an important role in protecting the heart and lungs from damage in an accident. However, rib fractures can also be deadly. They can lead to a collapsed lung, cardiac tamponade, or severe nerve damage. This can place people in a hospital, leaving families wondering what they should do next. Meeting with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento can be helpful. A trained legal adviser has helped many families in similar situations and has the experience necessary to review the case, ensuring that no detail is overlooked.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Rib fractures can cause damage to nearby nerves. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
See our verdicts or settlements here.
Rib Fractures Cause Nerve Damage: AutoAccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Rib Fractures Cause Nerve Damage.
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