Medical Specialty >> Orthopedics

Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

Back to Orthopedics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Bone scan revealed fractured first rib

 jjeffrey - Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:43 pm

Hi, i was involved in a MVA 2 yrs ago, and after 8 months of shoulder neck and back pain, was finally sent for an MRI of my (L) shoulder, which indicated a torn rotator cuff, which was repaired. Pain in shoulder,neck,back,numbness in hand,arm, and even my face, began to increase. Another Dr, recommended and ordered another MRI of my neck this time which showed some minor buldging, but nothing serious i guess. Pain and numbness was still there, so family Dr sent me for a bone scan, which indicated a fractured first rib(left side) Now, my question is this, could these symptoms be a result of this fractured first rib?? Also, the raidioligist who did the bone scan recommended additional x-rays to rule out any other pathologies.....but my family Dr won't order any more. i asked for a referral to a orthopedic Dr, and he refuses to do that as well....his answer was, its an old fracture,there's nothing that can be done, i will be labelled as chronic pain, and here's more pills(not the answer i was looking for) Is there some reason he won't investigate this further?? Just Need Some Advice, thanks
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:15 pm

User avatar Hello,

It is highly possible that your symptoms are related to the accident you have been exposed to two years ago. Probably a mild form of damage has occurred and after exposure to any precipitating factor your condition progressed and you started feeling these symptoms.

The MRI is the test of choice to diagnose conditions like yours. Although your MRI result is reassuring, your symptoms are indicative of nereve or nerve root compression. Pain and numbness result from nerve compression, and being progressive is more concerning.

Sometimes muscle pain and spasm give clinical picture similar to yours and with physiotherapy symptoms improve, but proper diagnosis is essential before any intervention.

So, I may agree with your doctor that the rib fracture is due to an old trauma and your MRI findings are not serious but I would advise you to discuss with him orthopaedic consultation to exclude serious causes like nerve (or nerve root) compression.

Hope you find this information useful.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us