More than half of thoracic injuries involve rib fractures. Trauma to the chest can cause rib fractures, which are non-life threatening most times, but can obstruct or damage organs within the rib cage or abdomen. In older people, rib fractures most often occur from falling, if only from the height of the person standing. Children and youth can obtain injuries from athletics. Both adults and children can have acquired fractured ribs during a motor vehicle accident. Regardless of who or how a fractured rib happened, fractured ribs can heal on their own in one or two months with proper care and treatment. It's the pain involved that must be managed and special consideration for lung health and the ability to breathe unobstructed and without pain.