Separated or Broken Ribs
Rib separations are fairly common among full-contact fighters. The front end of the rib is connected to the breastbone by a piece of cartilage, and this cartilage can be torn from a sharp blow or series of blows to the rib.
A rib may break from a hard blow. This injury is more dangerous than a separated rib because the broken rib may become displaced and puncture a lung.
Rib injuries are treated with rest (about six weeks) and a rib belt.
The spleen is under the left rib cage. A soft organ, it is prone to injury from a sharp strike, such as an uppercut to the left ribs.
A ruptured spleen bleeds profusely and may cause death if it is not removed rapidly and the bleeding stopped. If it is at all damaged, the spleen must be removed. Since the spleen has no vital function, it is possible to live without one.
Even if it does not rupture immediately, a spleen that is bruised by a light blow during sparring may rupture later. Therefore, any spleen injury must be examined by a doctor.