During the match against Collingwood, Brisbane Lions captain Tom Rockliff has fearlessly backed into a marking contest and collided with an accidental knee from Travis Varcoe. The courier mail has confirmed fractured ribs, punctured lung, and internal bruising; he is likely to miss 4-6 weeks.
The ribs are a very important bones that function to protect internal organs, provide muscle attachment, and breathing mechanics. A high velocity direct trauma is the most common cause of a rib fracture. Rib fractures can be diagnosed with pain during breathing, tenderness along the bone, and X-ray. Tom Rockliff's injury on the weekend has demonstrated a more serious example as the direct trauma has also caused a partial pneumothorax (punctured lung) and interal bruising. People with similar injuries frequently present to hospital with sharp rib pain and difficulty breathing. X-ray will typically reveal displaced bone fragments and a reduced volume to one rib. Medical staff will closely monitor oxygen levels and signs of serious internal injuries. In severe cases associated trauma to kidneys can be life threatening and need urgent medical intervention. The treatment for a fractured rib is often a prolonged rest. Tom will need to wait until his body has repaired the bone, usually 4-6 weeks, before commencing stressful activities. A physiotherapist will guide the return to training and rehabilitation.
Fractured ribs can be a serious injury and require medical/physiotherapy assessment.