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: Severe Rib Pain, Jet Ski Accident-Broken Rib/Pulled Muscle?

 ADmuhami - Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:52 am

Hello and Many Thanks for Your Help!

I fell off a jet ski over a week ago onto my right side and have since had a really bad pain in my upper right rib cage area - it does not feel severe enough to be a break. When I press down on the area it feels tender and a bit painful - the REAL BAD PAIN is when I cough, laugh, sneeze, clear my throat or try to get up if I am lying down - at that point the pain is unbearable. I cannot sleep on my right side at all as it is too painful and recently it even hurts if I sleep on my back. It only feels bearable if I am completely spreadout and my legs are straight.

Could this be a bruise or a break or is it just a muscle injury? Either way, should I wait it out or go to a doctor? I have waited a week and it hasn't gotten better at all......PLEASE HELP!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri May 01, 2009 11:57 am

User avatar Hello,
Any time the rib cage suffers from a high impact traumatic event, I recommend xray to view not only the bones in the thorax but also the possibility of injury to the lung.
With rib injury, it is important to take adequate pain medicine to help with deep breathing, coughing, sneezing, etc. Especially with any type of respiratory illness, coughing is the bodies' natural way to clear secretions which develop from infection.
So, I would recommend an xray and see a doctor asap.
Take care.

| 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