Many broken ribs are merely cracked. While still painful, cracked ribs aren't as potentially dangerous as ribs that have been broken. In these situations, a jagged piece of bone could damage major blood vessels or internal organs, such as the lungs.
In most cases, broken ribs heal on their own in one or two months. Adequate pain control is important, so you can continue to breathe deeply and avoid lung complications, such as pneumonia.
See your doctor if you have a very tender spot in your rib area that occurs after trauma, is present with deep breaths or hinders your breathing.
If your doctor determines the rib needs to be reset, it may require surgery to repair
If you experience pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, pain that extends beyond your chest to your shoulder or arm, and increasing episodes of chest pain, get medical attention immediately.
It will most likely heal on its own, usually just cracked. In some cases when its actually broke in two pieces due to a severe injurie it will often puncture a lung. If you think its bad you should see a doctor.