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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Broke ribs 12 weeks ago and still not healed?

 crackedrib - Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:14 pm

I am 5'6" 128lb 37 yr female who broke my ribs 12 weeks ago and they still have not healed. Is this reasonable? Background: It happened when someone picked me up from behind (by the lower ribcage) and squeezed me in mid-air REALLY tightly until I heard a loud "snap!". At the height of the pain, it felt like something was going to rupture inside my lower center-left ribcage and I also felt like someone was tightening a belt around my chest.
The xray did not show the break and there were actually 2 areas that were very painful (left side below brestbone and slightly left of there). I couldn't lift anything for 3 weeks and when I wasn't laying down, I felt a sharp poke and nausea when walking.
I am back to life as normal, but I cannot do situps/crunches or take deep breaths or lie down without some pain. Will I always feel that, or should I let my Dr know and ask for any tests. P.S. I am not inclined to ask for tests
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:21 pm

User avatar Hello,
You may ask for an MRI or CT scan of the chest. These would help better define the problem.

The increased pain level with deep inspiration is concerning and should be addressed with your family physician.

Take care.
 crackedrib - Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:15 pm

Thank you, Tom. I will call my Dr on Monday. I am now past week 14 and needed your encouragement to push me in the right direction. I am in the medical field myself, yet it is hard to ask for help when it is for yourself.

Thanks again for professional advice and the valued service you provide here. My first experience with this site has been very helpful. Hopefully, I will never need it again :)
 crackedrib - Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:21 pm

Hi Tom-
I had a bone scan and my Dr just said that showed that my ribs are broken -- which we knew (even though the previous x-rays did not show a break).

Your post mentioned a CT scan or an MRI. Does this bone scan safice?
I should mention that I am no longer experiencing "rib pain when taking a deep breath" during EVERY deep breath. It now only occurs in the afternoon or evening (after I've been on my feet all day).

Thanks in advance for your input. I am not the type of patient who feels comfortable asking for tests or suggesting things to my Dr. Nor am I a nervous person; I just wonder if it's strange that my ribs still hurt after 17 weeks.
Thanks again

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