Commonly Used Words & Definitions

Causes for Rib Fractures

Auto Accidents
Head-on and Side Impact crashes can cause traumatic thoracic trauma resulting in multiple rib fractures
Blunt force Trauma
Physical trauma caused to body by impact, injury, or physical attack
Horse Accidents
Multiple rib fractures and rip displacement can be caused from mishaps during equestrian activities
Motorcycle Accidents
Rib Fractures can occur from both urban and rural motorcycle crashes. Fractures can happen from, an impact with a stationary object or automobile, and being ejected from the motorcycle
Severe Coughing
Severe coughing has been known to cause rib fractures. This is more common in instances of lung problems, and chronic coughing as a result of those problems.

Results of Rib Fractures

Collapse of the expanded lung
Chest Infection
Infection that can be caused from rib fracture
Difficult or labored respiration
Flail Chest
A portion of the chest wall moving separately from the rest of the chest
Blood in the pleural cavity
Lung Contusion
Bruised Lung
A fracture in multiple places of the rib causing movement and severe pain
A disease characterized by inflammation or consolidation of lung tissue due primarily to infection
Condition where air or other gas is present in the pleural space do to disease or other injury
An abnormal union formed by fibrous tissue between parts of a bone that has fractured
Severe Pain
Rib fractures can cause severe pain to the point of debilitation

Definitions & Terminology

Situated toward the front of the body or object
Insensibility to pain without loss of consciousness
Bone Purchase
Penetrating and screwing into the bone for strength, stability or support
The usage of a bronchoscope in the examination or treatment of the bronchi
The outer or superficial part of an organ or body structure
Costal Cartilage
The cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum
The immobilization of the parts of a fractured bone by using various metal attachments
Floating Ribs
Ribs (lowest two pairs) that have no attachments to the sternum
A deficiency of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body
A cut or wound of body tissue made in surgery
Situated or extending between the ribs
Intercostal Artery
Any of the arteries supplying or lying in the intercostals spaces
Intercostal muscles
Any of the short muscles that extend between the ribs filling in most of the intervals between them serving to move the ribs in respiration
Intercostal Nerve
Any of the nerves on each side of which is an anterior division of a thoracic nerve lying between a pair of adjacent ribs
Situated or occurring within the medulla. Involving use of the marrow space of a bone for support
A procedure that involves entry into the living body
Neurovascular Bundle
The bodies nerves, arteries, veins, and lymphatics that travel together in the body
A surgical operation in which a bone is divided or a piece of bone is excised (as to correct a deformity)
Either of a pair of two-walled sacs of serous membrane each of which lines one lateral half of the thorax
Pleural Cavity
Space surrounding the lungs
Situated toward the rear or back of a body or object
The surgical removal of part of an organ or structure
Rib Belts
Elastic belt used to support injured ribs
Rib Fracture
Broken ribs, cracked ribs, displaced ribs, chest wall deformity
Rib Spreading
Rib fractures commonly occur after rib spreading during a thoracotomy
Situated toward the head and further away from the feet than another object
A stand or fiber used to sew parts of the living body
Surgical incision of the chest wall
Relating to, located within, or involving the thorax
Part of the body that is between the neck and abdomen and supported by the ribs, costal cartilages and sternum
Increased rate of respiration


An agent (as a hot iron or caustic) used to burn, sear, or destroy tissue
Dual-lumen endotracheal tube
Tube that is inserted into the patients trachea for airway management and mechanical ventilation
Abnormal mobility and loss of response to normal controls
Situated within, performed within, occurring within, or administered by entering a vein
Lateral decubitus
A position in which a patient lies on his or her side
Minimally Invasive
Less pain, less scaring, less hospital time
Muscles that form the middle and outer layers of the lateral walls of the abdomen
To examine by touch
The membrane of connective tissue that closely invests all bones except at the articular surfaces
An X-ray or Gamma-ray photograph
A pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery
Being, living, used, or made under skin
An endoscope that is inserted through a puncture in the chest wall
The quality or state of being vascular