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Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Rib out of place and back pain


 mariadsdrc - Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:18 am

In October 07 I was in a car accident...My first car accident, ambulance, and ER experience.

A lady ran a stop sign at 45 mph and hit the truck I was ridding in as a passenger. She never applied her breaks and hit us full speed. She hit the front left of the truck taking our tire off then she spun and hit the back of our truck..we slid across the road and hit the curb and went up over it and slid 110ft in a field.

I was wearing my seatbelt..But because she hit is from the side I did it the window with my head and my ribs went into the center console of the truck. I also strained my back and neck.

When I was taken to the ER all they did was check my neck and send me on my way.

A few weeks later a lump appeard over my bruised left lower rib ( the one second from the bottom). I went to the doctor and he said it was swollen cartilage...and it should go away.
Well here I am today its still there. The lump is still there and my rib pops in and out of place from time to time. Its really painful and now it goes into my back and its out of place now in my back. Its really tender to the touch all the way around. You can see the rib that is out of place. Its noticable compared to my ribs on the right side. Sometime I cant even move b/c the pain is just unbearable. I cant sleep on my stomach or either side due to my ribs...im forced to sleep on my back and with a pillow under the injured side so it takes the pressure off it.

Any advice on what I can do till the doctor can get me in? And what can I expect them to do with my rib?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:14 pm

User avatar Hello -

Usually the most that is done for this sort of injury is to tape or otherwise hold the side steady by some sort of bandage or binding. However, due to the location of this rib, which appears from your description to be now free of its moorings, you'll have to exercise some care until it is immobilized, because of the proximity to the spleen.

Oddly enough, lying on the affected side tends to be more comfortable and seems to help the injured (or freed) rib to stay in place. Of course, if for some reason this causes you inordinate discomfort, don't do it. That shouldn't happen, but I want to cover all the possible bases. Cushioning it with a pillow is a good plan also. Whatever keeps you most comfortable is appropriate.

Don't do anything requiring heavy lifting, no contact sports, nothing that causes you to twist and turn, as this could just aggravate the situation. The main concern is that the freed end of the rib doesn't come into contact with your spleen. It probably won't, due to the way the rib cage is designed, but that and discomfort are the two biggest concerns.

There's not much else I can tell you, except that I would recommend bothering the doctor's office to see if they can get you in to be seen sooner than later.

Best of luck to you. Please stay in touch.
 mariadsdrc - Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:19 pm

I just went back to the doctor b/c something just didnt feel right. So they did an MRI and sure enough I was right. There is a disc that is out of place in my back and it has caused the muscles around the ribs to contract and pull them somewhat out of place. Im going to see a specialist in a few weeks to see about starting physcial therapy and cortisone injections.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:41 am

User avatar That certainly would make a difference and it explains a lot! Good for you for being persistent. I hope this problem can now be corrected with a minimum of bother and that you're feeling right again really soon. Thanks for the update.

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