Sen Rand Paul’s Injuries Worse Than Originally Thought — ‘Can Be Life-Threatening’

On Friday, an assailant blindsided Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) at his Kentucky home.

Early reports said that Rene Boucher, 59, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, had attacked Paul and caused a “minor injury.”

But updates indicate that Paul’s injuries may be more serious than initially reported.

According to The Associated Press, Paul suffered five broken ribs and was — understandably — in considerable pain:

A senior adviser for Rand Paul says the U.S. senator is recovering from five broken ribs following an assault at his home.

Doug Stafford said it is unclear when Paul will return to work since he is in considerable pain and has difficulty getting around, including flying. Stafford said Sunday that the broken ribs include three displaced fractures, which can lead to life-threatening injuries. The severe pain can last for weeks or months.

The rib fractures — particularly the three that are “displaced” — are the cause for concern. According to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma:

Rib fractures that are single and non-displaced are classified as hairline fractures or simple fractures. Ribs usually fracture at the point of impact or in the back where structurally they are weakest. More complex fractures can cause the edges of the bone to become misaligned or displaced.

A serious condition involved with rib fractures is called ‘flail chest’. It occurs when multiple adjacent ribs are broken in multiple places, separating a segment which is free-floating and moves independently. The most common ribs fractured are the 7th through 10th ribs.

Fractures of the first and second ribs are rare but may be associated with serious damage to the brachial plexus of nerves, the subclavian vessels or associated with head, facial or thoracic aorta injuries. A lower rib fracture is more likely associated with injuries to the diaphragm, liver or spleen.

Paul is currently in recovery, and authorities have not yet disclosed any possible motives or other details in the case.

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