Diagnosing Zach Ertz’s rib injury
Ertz’s injury is being described as a displaced rib under the collarbone, which is very rare. It is reported that he sustained the injury in the first quarter when he was hit along the sidelines after making a catch and he continued to play the rest of the game. Injuries to the first rib can cause severe pain around the shoulder and neck and may also cause chest pain due to the rib’s attachment to the spine and sternum (breastbone).

A displaced first rib fracture is extremely uncommon due to its strong ligamentous and muscular attachments that help to maintain the alignment of the bone. Displaced fractures of the first rib are more serious because of the proximity to the brachial plexus and vascular structures. The brachial plexus is a collection of nerves that run under the first rib. Injuring the brachial plexus can lead to pain and weakness of the shoulder and arm.

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