Radiological dating of fractures

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The left pneumothorax (white arrows) is associated with a displaced posterior left rib fracture (black arrow).Secondary effects on the left lung include a pulmonary contusion and volume loss.Surfer's rib is an isolated first-rib fracture and occurs in surfers who perform the lay-back maneuver.Fractures of the fifth to ninth ribs can be single or multiple.Hemorrhage around and within the adrenal glands represents a risk that is associated with fractures of the lower ribs.Fractures of the lower ribs are also commonly associated with visceral injury to the kidneys and the spleen.Associated lumbar and thoracic vertebral spinal injuries occur because of the proximity of the transverse spinous processes to the lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine.

The hemothorax resulting from a laceration of an intercostal artery can be life threatening.A displaced right lower rib fracture is present in the right posterolateral aspect of the chest (black arrow).Axial computed tomography image of the chest in a patient with left posterior rib fractures.Fractures of the first rib imply a violent force; this pattern of fractures may signify injury to the adjacent subclavian vein and brachial plexus.Isolated first rib fractures are seen in association with cranial and maxillofacial injuries and are probably secondary to avulsion of the first rib by its muscular attachment rather than direct trauma to the rib, which is relatively protected.

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