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Tripped and fell on cement floor. Experiencing chest pain while coughing. Acute fracture shown in X ray. What else could it be?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1997
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5 days ago I tripped and fell on a cement floor. I experienced real chest pain, especially when I coughed. Under medical advice had an x-ray today. x-ray report stated acute fracture of left 5th lateral rib. Alas stated "mild bibasilar probable atelectasis" and "left pleural effusion' cannot be excluded. Could these other findings be related to the fall and broken rib??
Posted Fri, 8 Nov 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, they are related

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thank you for your question.

Your symptoms fits with the diagnosis of broken ribs.
the other findings on x- XXXXXXX had developed due to the broken rib.
Pain from the fractured rib will prevent you from breathing and coughing normally and it will lead to collection of secretions in the lung.
The possible pleural effusion could be due to small bleeding from the rib, or pleural reaction to the injury.

I advise you to use strong analgesia and cough up regularly to clear your lung.
If you developed short of breathing or temperature then you need repeat x-ray for possible chest infection.

Kind regards,
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