Monday, January 23, 2006

Fractured Rib

Did you know that you could fracture your rib from coughing?
Well, you can. And it's not fun.

51 comments:

Graham said...

Oh wow. Poor Kimmy! How do you fix a fractured rib? I hope it's okay soon.

mishijishi said...

Oh, that's awful!

kimbalina said...

There's not much you can do about a fractured rib except just wait it out. Rib injuries heal on their own and usually take about 6 weeks. I'd like to to heal in 10 days so I can go snowboarding!

Anonymous said...

That's funny! I'm researching the healing time for a fractured rib because I fell this last weekend snowboarding and I think I may have fractured one of my ribs. I want mine to heal in 5 days so that I can go 'board this weekend. ;->

How did you discover that you fractured you rib?

kimbalina said...

I actually went to the doctor's to have it checked out. You might want to do the same. It was really helpful to have the peace of mind (and also the pain killers!).

Glen Santha said...

I am the lucky recipient of multiple fractured ribs, according to one doctor (specialist), and the recipient of muscle injury, according to the doctor at the hospital (possible breaks) How could I have two diagnosis?. Although I am not a doctor my experience is one to learn from. I was injured in hockey when I fell on the ground and another skater tried to jump over me at full speed, putting his knee into my chest, knocking the wind out of me. The pain for the next week was severe, unable to breath in without hurting on my chest, in the front and the back. The specialist (my wife works in a medical clinic as an occupational therapist) did an interesting check, having me lay down and see if the chest cavity on both sides, goes up and down the same amount. He also found differences in the two sides of my chest, in physical appearance. If you have fractures, the chest cavity will move in the opposite direction, meaning down when it should go up. It actually collapses. Something about negative pressure - with fractured ribs, you get negative pressure. The xrays diagnosis - "may be cracks or breaks", but cannot really tell. "Want some pain medication?" Words from my hospital doctor who spent all of two minutes on me, he did not even personally examine me. The most important tests that were done on me were not xrays, but ultrasound of liver and organs. If you have a fractured rib, you should be checked for internal bleeding or lung collapse. There is nothing you can do for broken ribs but if you have internal bleeding - you have a real problem. By the way - I am at 4 weeks now, and still have pain when I breathe. My wife says she can feel the spot on the back of my chest where my rib is, then isn't. "There's a space where it should be" Says my wife. Funny how I am in agony for about 5 minutes after she has poked around the spot where I hurt. I found that a light massage to the muscles around the injury helps the pain, as they are over compensating for the injury. One last thing, remember that ribs are there to protect the lungs and the heart. If you have broken ribs, they are not protecting what they should be - so I would be really careful at the sports or events you do. I have been snowboarding for 16 years, and the falls I had were ones that were "never supposed to happen" or "did not expect to happen." On the slopes, anything can happen.

Glen Santha said...

Helpful trick for people with broken ribs - hold a pillow to your chest when you cough or sneeze. Helps :)

Anonymous said...

I have had three fractured ribs for two years. They are not healing. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Consider your age...steriod medications such as asthma drugs can cause osteoporosis, regardless of age. Have you had a MD check w/bone scane for areas of bone density/lack of? This may be causing you to NOT heal those poor ribs. I'd get a second...third opinion and do it quickly. Something is not "right" if your ribs have taken THREE years to heal?! I am on week TWO and going nuts...never realized the intense level of pain w/broken ribs. Take care of YOU!! Blessings...

Anonymous said...

Hi...I don't know how I ended-up here but figured I could add some info. I am sitting here scouring the Internet for any info I can on the recovery of rib fractures. Back on Nov. 26, 2005 I had a slip and fall and landed full body weight (115 lbs.) on a set of cedar wooden stairs. I have multiple fractures of 4 ribs with overriding breaks and fragments. I am 5 months into the recover...as a very active person my entire life was put on hold after this injury. I went back to work after 6 weeks and have been in and out ever since. Currently, I have been out for 3 weeks. This is a sloooooow recovery. I have decided to do nothing and sit tight until I feel no symptoms. If anyone has any additional info. please feel free to send me an e-mail at justlookin45f@yahoo.com take care and I wish you the best in your recovery...

Randeeiscool said...

Hi Im researching info on broken rib healing time and would like some pain stopping techniques. Saturday my sisters 280 pnd. Football player boyfriend picked up my mom to lift her to the ceiling (because he likes to pick people up ...and she's pretty light. O.o) ...and he broke two of her ribs. She's in tremendous pain on her ribs and in the area just under the ribs in the front. Any ideas?!?!

Th emergency doctor said that a rib bruise, crack and break are all the same, it doesnt matter because you can't do anything about any of them.They only X-ray the chest not the rib area. Is this true?

Thanks for you help!!!! :)

k bye.

kimbalina said...

I'm not sure that I have very good advice as to how to stop the pain. When my rib was fractured, it was extremely painful to even breathe. I ended up getting my pain meds upped and mostly just suffered through it. It helped breathe easier if I slept on the side where it was fractured and didn't move.

Anonymous said...

I fell against a concrete flower pot 9 years ago and fractured 4 ribs. They never healed right. I will be okay for several months, then if I overexert or move that side certain ways, it all happens over again with pain, shortness of breath, etc. that keeps me sidelines for several weeks. Lots of folks tell me that they have the same problem. Sometimes it feels like they poke me in the side, and then I move around and reposition the ribs and all is well until I move again. Anyone else bothered by this?

Anonymous said...

MRIs, not xrays, make the definitive diagnosis of fractured ribs, and it seems you would wish to know. sept 2006 will be two years since i fractured 2 ribs and they still haven't healed. it's okay per expert physician, who mandated I hold them when sneezing and coughing, and it's unknown whether correlation exists between such fractures and bone density.

Anonymous said...

you can demand an MRI, which is definitive test for fractured ribs, to find out exactly has happened. all of us should be educated medical consumers. i fractured 2 in sept. 2004 and they still haven't healed. it's okay, per expert physician, and it's unknown whether correlation exists between such fractures and bone density.

Stewart said...

Hi there I too unfortunately received an injury to mi ribs last week. The pain has been severe but today I noticed a clicking sensation in my chest every time I breath. Has anyone else had this or am I being paranoid. I am due to fly in 5 days time so I wonder if I should have this checked as I did not have the injury checked by my GP.

Anonymous said...

I had a motor cycle accident last week and I found the rib belt to be helpful. Its ajustable and gives support. Its helpful when you cough or sneeze. It's also easy to remove if it starts to annoy you.

MichaelK said...

I am 16 months post MVA accident where I had 10 broken ribs. I ended up on a ventilator for 5 days. The pain was, shall we say "exquisite". Feb 22 this year I had a Mitrial valve repaired where the cardiac surgeon deadened the offending ribs. That helped me heal from Open heart surgery, but now the ribs are just as bad. I am still on pain meds and now I am being referred to a psychiatrist.
If you look at my chest films (with 5 broken dislocated ribs that never found another piece of rib to stick back to), It shows clear crush injuries to the left side.

What do I do? Most doctors do not want to risk their malpractice insurance on me. I am back to work, but I am taking the bus (which is a great help and actually works for me)

Any ideas?

bugfixer2@comcast.net Michael

Anonymous said...

hi....I broke two ribs, six weeks ago, and am feeling almost all better...some discomfort still...I wish i had worn a rib belt as I felt like stuff was moving in there and it kind of scared me. I did indeed hear that clicking sound that someone mentioned...keep the faith...it 's gone!

Anonymous said...

hi. 9 weeks ago i was in a car accident and broke 6 ribs and one loung collapsed. I still feel my ribs all weird like their cracking. I play volleyball and would like to go playing again, but I don't know how much it will take for them to heal. have any idea how much longer it would take for them to heal?

Anonymous said...

I recently had a cough that was very strong and woke up with rib pain on the right side. I had an X-ray and my rib did not show a fracture. This was a week ago. Today, I started to notice a clicking sound when I breath. I am a cancer survivor so things like this tend to freak me out. I saw an earlier post from some experiencing something similar. Does anyone have an idea of what this is? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just found your site plus lots of other good medical advice about rib injuries through Google. I fell 2 days ago on my ribs and went to an Urgent Care clinic. They gave me Hydrocodone/APAP 5/500 which helps a lot, but does not completely stop the pain. They DID not say anything about a rib belt that is mentioned by every site on the Internet. I plan to get one today (Monday.) Laying down to sleep is the most horrific pain that I've ever felt! One site said that this can be caused by a separated rib. The x-rays were inconclusive, but Internet sources say that is common and does not rule out a fracture, separated rib, or torn cartilage that connects the rib to the breastbone.

OK--here's my advice for pain when you take a breath. Try to train yourself to breathe with your abdominal muscles, not your chest. Place your hand on your lower abs and make them move out as you inhale. Then, pull them in when you exhale. When you get it right, you can take in lots of oxygen without moving your rib cage very much. Of course, some lower rib injuries may still be painful with this method, but it works very well for my upper injury. The ER nurse was amazed that my oxygen level was at 100%. It told her that I do abdominal breathing---particularly when I am in pain. It helps to focus on the breathing technique rather than the pain. Plus extra oxygen helps the body to heal. Just don't hyperventilate (dizzy, tingling fingers, lightheaded.)

Hope that helps some of you with at least the pain associated with moving the rib cage during breathing!

I keep telling myself, 'this too shall pass!'

Anonymous said...

I broke 2 ribs, numbers 6 and 7 on my left side falling off a 2 car trailer, digging my ribs into a metal corner (lots of pain) and doc just game me some pills and sent me on my way.

That was last June 2006. Now it's nearly March 07 and they still bother me if i twist my body or sleep in a certain way. Can ribs not "bind" and heal properly, and just float around in there?

Anonymous said...

i just got in a car accident on saturday, today is wednesday. and ive been having this pain in like my rib area, and i think it might be fractured or something. i might be going to the doctor but im not sure. it hurts when i breath or cough, and it feels like something is poking me in the lungs. i dont know, any ideas?

Anonymous said...

My wife had a fractured rib due to coughing and it took two x-rays before they found it. They gave her medication to control the coughing and told her not to lift much for a couple of weeks. She did heal completely. Has anyone else had a rib fracture from coughing. I have been coughing for about two weeks and am starting to have pain right below the nipple area and wondering if this could be a fractured rib. I just started medication for the coughing and just wondering if anyone has experience.

Alison said...

My dad just broke a rib yesterday, and the doctors say that they cant do anything about it, which is what i read here. My question is, what would hasten his healing procedure? and how should he move or sleep? The freakiest part is that he broke the ribs that are the closest to the heart so we're not sure what to do.

Anonymous said...

Yup, diagnosed with separation between rib and cartilage yesterday. Doctor said it was due to coughing (I just got over bronchitis and bad upper respiratory infection.) I'm to do no lifting, no housework, no golf, no carrying of my briefcase or laptop for six weeks. He warned me that it may continue to hurt for 4-5 months.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have 4 broken ribs at heart level and the only way that it could have happen is coughing. I had pleuricy and a bad upper respiratory infection maybe pneumonia. My doctor does not believe this is how I broke them. I had to get a ct scan to see them for they did not show up on a chest x-ray. Pain meds and light duty movement is the only way I know of. It has been several months and I still have pain from the broken ribs. My doctor is too concerned about how it happened. I am getting a new doctor. He had no suggestions on how to heal them. He just sent me to a heart doc and a lung doc. They both said what are you doing here? Doctors do not seem to be very informative on broken ribs.

Anonymous said...

I just sustained an injury during a snowboarding fall. I'm only a week into my injury and the pain is not totally unbearable. For some of you that mentioned long healing times, you should take a look at the video at the following link. Apparently the "let them heal on their own" approach to some more severe rib injuries can have lifelong consequences, but there appears to be an alternative that's surfacing.

http://www.webmd.com/video/healing-broken-ribs

Richard said...

I fractured two ribs (#9 and 10) over last weekend AND DON"T KNOW HOW I DID IT!! The was no injury or trauma. One friend (who was with me Friday evening) reminded me that I had SNEEZED rather violently 5 or 6 times. My doctor says that it's possible but not common. He is concerned about bone density/osteoporitis but I've never broken a bone in my life (I'm 58) and there is no history of that in my family. Besides the severe pain, I knew something was wrong because I could feel and hear bones clicking and popping on my left side whenever I breathed. Freaky! Doc tells me pain and healing will last 3-6 months. Oh joy.

Anonymous said...

I broke 2 ribs off at the spine while violently coughing. I was wearing a bullet proof vest and unless you have wore one, it is hard to explain, but you can't get a full cough out. The first doctor I saw said he thought I broke them, but could not advise anything to help them heal. I saw 9more doctors who all disagreed with him and said they were not broken. I have had over 60 appts. and they are not any better. An x-ray tech noticed a month ago that they were infact broken and he showed me where it now appears that one is still hanging and the other reconnected back to the spine, but not in the right space...I am in severe pain with no one knowning how to help me. I have been told that because they are in the thorasic spine, there is nothing anyone can do. Is there anyone out there that can suggest anything? Please...

Anonymous said...

I have left (#5) and right side (#4) fractured ribs from a severe case of whooping cough. The whooping cough was misdiagnosed as an upper respiratory infection and the fractures as muscle strain til a new doctor ordered pathology tests and a chest xray.

I am a very active person having to adjust to resting, to allow the bones to heal. I too get the clicking sensations and overall fractured ribs are pretty painful. I find heat pack gives some comfort along w/ taking some pain medication.

Crazy that simple tasks like driving, getting up from a lying down position, opening doors, opening bottles etc are difficult w/ both sides of my rib cage affected. Using pillows helps with some of things and using legs/hips to prop open doors is good too.

REST is the key for the new bone tissue to form. Good luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

I am a male,61 years old. I have exercised all my life, especially weight training and, when I was younger, a lot of vigorous distance running and swimming. About 3 months ago I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper back while working out at the gym.I began going to my chiropractor(who has teated me periodically for several years whenever needed). THIS time the pain became MUCH more severe! Finally, after about 8-9 weeks of chiropractic adjustments with no improvement (actually a severe INCREASE in duration and intensity of pain)I went to my medical doctor. After a series of X-Rays and a CT scan, he told me that I have several fractured ribs, AND he has ordered a nuclear medicine bone scan for me in order to rule ou more serious underlying problems. The healing process has been very slow (i know, I know....I'm an OLD guy), but I am shocked at the LEVEL of excruciating pain and shocked at how slow the healing process is. I use ICE PACKS and wrap my ribs. I am on pain meds (which ease the pain but endanger the liver). Basically, we have to be patient. I tore an LCL when I was 52 and rehabbed it on my own in 30 days. This multiple rib-fracture is MUCH more painful and takes a long time to heal.

Anonymous said...

I recently was at a party with some friends and fell down a flight of stairs with the railing digging into my right side. For the first 2 days I had alot of pain and aching but no bruising on the outside. Movement and pressure hurt. Now 2 days later, its a sharper pain more pain to breathe deep and tender as anything. I have no insurance and dont know what to do. Simple pain reliever is not helping. Any recommendations. It also doesnt help I have a cold.

Anonymous said...

I went back to my bedroom on 11/10/08 and tripped over my cat, landing hard against my bderoon door knob. I heard a loud crack and it knocked me to the floor! After a trip to the ER, an xray and shot of demeral later I was told I broke #6 + #7 ribs and there was nothing they coud do and gave me a script for Demerol. Recovery time was 6 - 8 weeks. Happy Birthday to me.

**Side note on Demerol: eat something when you take it or you might vomit. I did - violently and doing so was the most painful experience of my life!

2 days later I had spasms and couldn't breathe very well. I took an ambulance trip to the same ER where a CAT scan was done I was told I had broken 4 ribs: #5, 6, 7 + 8. A Cat scan is definitive for diagnosis and the recovery time was the same. Jeez.

Today is day 5 and I've noticed the more I move around the better I feel (sort of.) I have horrific coughing bouts that I painfully get through, trying to bring up as much mucuos as possible. I'm fearful of developing pnemonia which is a complication of fracturing ribs.

Someone mentioned using a rib belt for support but I was told at the hospital NOT to use one because it constricts the lungs and could contribute to pnemonia. I use one anyway for a few hours a day on and off, it does eaze with the pain and coughing.

Slepping is hell, the first few days are impossible. Try sleeping while sitting up. I found success lying on the couch with my back all the way against it while hugging a pillow, broken ribs up.

I plan on healing and I hope you all do too. I'll let you know of my progress. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

November 7, 2009 I got into a motorbike accident where I broke my collar bone and the upper most three ribs on my right side (I think in the back). Now it is November 19th and as far as the ribs go things seem to be healing a bit. The only rib pain I feel is when I sneeze (I avoid it any way I can) and when laying down. When I sneeeze it feels like my ribs are being blown out my back (excruciating) and when I lay down it feels like my ribs get all discombobilated and I have to scooch around trying to get them to get in the right place which hurts and feels just plain wierd. I'm 47 years old and am kind of freaking out when people say it has been 9 years and their ribs are STILL not healed. After seeing my X-ray with the ribs broken and mis-aligned I will never be able to eat barbque ribs again.

Anonymous said...

11/16/2008 - Playing in a soccer game, I jumped up to head a ball into the goal when the goalkeeper came up behind me with a knee raised. We collided and his knee hit my left side, more towards the lower back. I was on the ground for awhile because it was one of the strongest collisions that I've ever taken but was able to get up after a couple of minutes and still finish the game. Obviously I felt sore later that night and a few days later but had no bruising at all but it was painful to breathe deeply. The back and front of my left ribcage also hurt when I pressed in deeply.

I'm pretty sure I have slight fractures of one or both ribs, but my health insurance is being processed and I dislike hospitals for all the waiting they make you do. I pretty much figured that the only way to fix them is to let them heal on their own.

Anonymous said...

11:50 A.M. December 26,2008

The cause of my rib injury has no element of grit and guts. I slipped on the concrete walk and came down full force on my right side and arm. I was on my way to do a little shopping for my wife. After catching my breath and resting for a few minutes, I went to the store. Half way through shopping I called my wife and said that the pain had gotten so bad I wasn't able to get the groceries from the cart to the check-out. We finished shopping and Barb dropped me off at the hospital. The x-rays showed no breaks. However, due to the pain and the concern for organ damage, they gave me a cat-scan. Thankfully there was no organ damage but three rib fractures became evident. I echo in agreement the intensity of the pain associated with movement. The hospital also said that any binding would have a negative effect on breathing and could lead to pneumonia. I am 66 and am really taken aback at the healing difficulties everyone is sharing. My prayers go out for all of you as well as myself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kimmy and all:

On October 21 2008 and again 3 days later, I fractured ribs during severe coughing spells from pneumonia that had been diagnosed a few days earlier; I had been placed on strong cough syrup and antibiotics but it happened anyway. The pain was excruciating; the ER doc diagnosed Pleurisy and gave me oral Dilaudid. Three days later my entrire left side was one giant bruise and my left leg was swollen. My personal doctor told me to go to the hospital straightaway which I did but despite his intervention, they sent me home after 8 hours and a CT scan telling me to come back - a one-hour drive - if I began to bleed severely. I returned home, popped the second rib, watched as a ridge rose on my back and felt the entire upper part of my left chest re-arrange itself; think of those 'transformer' cartoons. Breathing became a series of pops, but less painful thanks to the 2mgs of IV Dilaudid the ER doc had given me 'for the road' an hour earlier. Well this time I was gonna' show up in an ambulance with the siren a' wailin' and the lights a' flashin' and let's see them refuse to admit me this time! The driver thought I was drunk, and was afraid my very big very vulgar very angry self was gonna' get very violent, which I didn't, and about half way there the attendant persuaded me to go to the other hospital in town, which did admit me, along with another slug of Dilaudid. "How's your pain?" "What pain???. Well, it literally took four CT scans, an EEG, and dozens of chest X-rays for the doctors to (1) find both fractures and (2) believe my explanation that they were caused by coughing and not by (a) cancer (b) a seizure, or (c) my being so drunk that I (1) didn't remember falling or (2) was too embarrassed to admit it! After 15 days, tons of anti-biotics, a thoracentesis, a chest tube, and boatloads of IV Dilaudid, they sent me home, only to readmit me three days later gasping for air. It was then that the doctors realized the lung fluids had returned and entrapped my left lung, requiring painful surgery to release the coagulated mess and allow re-expansion of the lung. The surgery was painful but successful and four days later I went home, having lost 40 pounds in 6 weeks but happy to be alive. The pain continued for 8 weeks, and subsided only after the pain specialist prescribed Lidocane patches for the chest pain and the neurologist Topamax for the nerve pain caused by the bleeding into the left leg caused by the first rib fracture and resultant punctured blood vessel(s?). I became addicted to narcotic pain killers, gradually tapered off, and am still going through withdrawal. One of the ribs has not healed, I can move it back and forth with my finger, and the other one healed but in the wrong position. I will probably visit my regular doctor (a hero in my book, by the way...) to explore the option of an orthopedic consult. At least I'm alive, working, breathing, and in little pain. I'm not mad at the doctors tho' it might sound otherwise, with the exception of the ER doc who refused to admit me; I don't expect them to be infallible; they were kind and respectful and saved my life. Kimmy, be assertive with your doctors, stay informed, don't be afraid to cry and to rest when you need to and it will get better! Let your friends do things for you. I'll say a prayer for you and for all the people who have posted.

Joe

Anonymous said...

I am a 49 year old female. Last Friday I started having pain in my chest wall on the left side and while breathing. Earlier in the day I had given my dog a haircut with light weight clippers. I sit down on the porch to do this so I don't have to lift him. The next morning with my daughters help, I bathed him. I fell against the bathtub on the same side in which I was experiencing the pain the night before. The pain was horrible to say the least. I went in on Tuesday and the doctor ordered xrays which shows I have broken my 7th rib on the left side. I do suffer from osteoporsis and am a former cancer patient. My lungs look fine. I am due anyway for a Pet Scan at the cancer hospital in a few weeks. Will this test show any other damage I may have suffered especially if there is a problem with my lungs? I am concerned about the pain I continue to suffer and that it might not get better with the osteoporosis. Especially after reading some of your comments here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone who contributed to this blog. I broke two ribs in a fall and two weeks later I'm still in agonising pain. But reading all these remarks I know know I am 'normal'. Enough to make me laugh but I can't cos it hurts.

LFM12 said...

I have had a terrible cough for about four months now. I woke up this morning with severe pain on my lower right rib cage, like someone delivered a blow there. I was wondering if I cracked, broken a rib or just pulled a musel because of the cough I have. I have several bowling tournaments coming up and would hate to miss them. Anyone have any ideas on how to ease the pain?

Anonymous said...

Fractured two ribs three weeks ago playing football. (Elbow into the ribs lol) Had that clicking sound when my three year old jumped on me the same day!!! Was only really sore when coughing/sneezing or lying down on it. Back playing football three weeks later and they are ok. Slight discomfort when pressing on the area only, apart from that pain is gone, guess i was lucky.

Anonymous said...

Over 11 months, ago, I was riding a motorcycle and hit a deer while going 70 MPH and among other broken bones, I also broke 9 ribs on my left side.

I wish I could say I'm in great shape and have recovered from the broken ribs, but have not.

I see a pain management doctor once a month and am on a 50MG Fentanyl patch, which had given me the quality of life (minimal pain) for the past 10 months. When I saw my doctor last month, I told him I was feeling better than ever and if I kept feeling the way I was that when I see him the next time (which is 2 more days from this writing), I wanted to start being weened off the Fentanyl patch. 2 days after my last visit, it was like I was no longer wearing a patch and my pain has returned and in spades. I do not know if I have built up a tolerance to the Fentanyl patch, but it has not been effective for me all of a sudden. When I see him, I guess I am going to have to increase my dosage and that is wrong direction that I had planned on going.

Long story short, in less than 4 weeks, it will have been a year, since I broke my 9 ribs and I am pretty miserable. I miss not having the quality of life that I had prior to my accident.

I am 57.

Anonymous said...

I was waterskiing last year and fell pretty hard, i did something to a rib on my right side, 2.5 months later it felt a lot better and i went out again.

this time i fell probably the hardest i'd ever. i bounced off the water up into the air. I didn't bother going to the doctor the first time, but this time i did just because i could tell it was in multiple places and wanted to be safe.

well the first rib took 2 months to heal, the second fall i think i was still healing at 8 months. it still didn't feel "right" but i thought it was healed. however i think i aggravated the injury with a minor fall. i'm not sure why one is taking so much longer than another.

**tip**
if you have to cough and you have a rib injury, you can hold a pillow to it, or if you are out and about, just brace your ribs as best as you can with your hands before you cough.

Laura said...

I fell off the deck last night after it rained and hit on the right side of my back. I can feel a rib move back there and the pain is super bad, so I know it's broke. I called my doctor and he said 'ribs have to heal on their own, try not to move too much and breathe deep so not to get pneumonia. He said it takes about 6 weeks to heal. How can anyone just lay around for 6 weeks? Is this true???

raeanna said...

i had bronchitis and due to the cough my rib hurt sooo bad and assume i fractured or broke my rib from the cough..i have no insurance so im taking it day by day..when it seems to be getting better a simple thing like laughing just made it worse then what it was before..not sleeping,hard to move,in so much pain..im taking over the counter meds..they help a little..and the pain seems to be worse at night. i have two toddlers and a 6 year old. im looking forward to hopefully feeling better and this web site gave me some hope and having no insurance i am pretty worried until i read some of these stories that related to myne..thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I broke (displaced fractures, ie.,broken through) 9 ribs in May 2008 and the distal tip of my scapula. I am still in a great deal of pain. All of the follow-up x-rays said "healing rib fractures". I recently got another chest x-ray and it said that my ribs are not united. I just found out that a chest x-ray does not show all the ribs. So, an MD friend has just ordered a rib x-ray and I will find out how many of the 9 are a non-union. I broke ribs under my scapula which is very hard to do and the pain in that area is awful. They want to do a nerve block and I guess I am going to give in to this. Does anyone have experience with non-union fractures? Also, fractures of 2-4? Those are the hardest to break and I did! I am tired of pain meds as a solution.

Anonymous said...

It is rough I am working on my
second set of breakage 10 yrs apart. I take comfort in knowing I got better before and am back to one day at a time :) Hate the cruchy rubbing sound when you roll over at nite!!!

Anonymous said...

God bless you Kimmy, & all who've contributed here. It is now 5/3/11! This topic has a long life! (The gift that keeps on giving...) This is another "I tripped over the cat" story. Outdoors, 6 mos. ago, tripped, fell backwards, went down & caught the faucet that extends from the wall about 4" on the ribs on the left side directly below my breast. Ouch! Hurt like the beGEEbers! I was quite sure I had cracked a rib or two, & I knew there is no treatment for this kind of injury. So since I, too, have no health insurance, I decided not to go to the doc. Just tried to take it easy & give it time. After about 6 wks. I was finally pain free. Then, 10 days ago, I was in the grocery store & was getting cat food for said cat from a bottom shelf. When I stood up, deep-knee-bend style, both hands full, I felt a 'pop' in same rib. Next day, it hurt like hell & that popping sensation every time I inhaled & exhaled ensued. (That was a new treat!) I could actually hear it, & it became very sore inside, like two 'innards' that weren't supposed to be touching were rubbing against each other over & over & over. So, came looking for SOME kind of info & found this blog! Alas, I'm not the only one who has experienced this & I'm not crazy or imagining things! I guess the answer I was seeking is that rib injuries HURT like the dickens, they take for bloody ever to heal, & if one is not careful, it is very easy to REinjure. That said, thanks again. Hope this helps someone down the line. Take care, everybody, & try to get/stay healthy!

Karen said...

Wow! So many posts. I just fell in my house, I'm a healthy 62 (hard to believe!) woman with good one density. I worked for UCLA family physicians for six years- since it's obvious to me I don't have internal bleeding or a punctured lung I decided not to subject myself to radiation (x-rays) 'cause it wouldn't affect the treatment plan. Rest is good and I thought the recommendation in one of the posts to breathe abdominally was great advice. Also find a calcium product that is easily absorbed, calcium is better absorbed along with vitamin C.
I had much worse rib pain years ago when I had a bad chronic cough-it was worse much worse than childbirth- I thought I'd had a heart attack-but what happened was the muscles had been torn away from my ribs-took a long time to heal. I couldn't take a powerfuf cough medicine (one that contained opiates) because it would have inhibited the cough and presented the enhanced possibility of developing pneumonia. Catch 22!
I really want to caution those of you using pain killers-Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc. to be very careful because they are so addictive- you Do Not want to get addicted-it happens really easily and Ibuprofen really does as good a job of reliving pain with the important added benefit of reducing inflammation (Vicodin contains an anti-inflammatory which is the most potent element of its
make up-anyway-the other part is the addictive part.
Quick healing to all.