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Dr. Stan
Dr. Stan, Medical Physician and Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2701
Experience:  Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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Hi, I was lifting weights and heard(and felt) a pop in my rib

Resolved Question:

Hi, I was lifting weights and heard(and felt) a pop in my rib cage, just below my sternum on the left side. I now have pain in my ribs, and a protrusion at the front of my rib cage, nearest to the mid-line of my chest. My concern is the pain, and a feeling that something is out of place in my ribs, loose from the rib cage. My family doctor looked at it and told me to wrap it with an ace bandage. I am worried about how to get that rib back in place, and whether I will need additional treatment to ensure quick recovery. I am an athlete, and need to have full function as soon as possible. Just for more info, my doctor suggested it may be a tear of thr attaching cartilage, or the muscle holding the ribs together. If so, I am concerned about how well it will heal just wrapped with an ace bandage.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Stan replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Welcome to Just Answer:

It appears that you fractured a rib. A broken rib, or fractured rib, is a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks. The most common cause of broken ribs is trauma to the chest. In most cases, broken ribs usually heal on their own in 4-6 weeks. Adequate pain control is important, so you can continue to breathe deeply and avoid lung complications, such as pneumonia.

Medications
It's important to obtain adequate pain relief because if it hurts too much to breathe deeply, you may develop pneumonia.

  • Over-the-counter drugs. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve) — may help relieve discomfort as you wait for the fracture to heal.
  • Other pain medications. If NSAIDs or acetaminophen don't work well enough, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medications.
  • Nerve blocks. If the pain is severe, your doctor may suggest injections of long-lasting anesthesia around the nerves that supply the ribs.

Therapy
Some doctors would use compression wraps — elastic bandages that you can wrap around your chest — to help "splint" and immobilize the area. If the compression wraps affects your ability to take deep breaths, then you should discuss with your doctor as this might increase risk of pneumonia. For this risk of pneumonia many doctors are no longer using this technique, instead they rely on good pain killer, and the ribs will heal naturally.

 

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry, I didn't mention one thing. I had an x-ray done and there was no sign of a break in the rib. Is there another explanation for the sudden bulge in my rib cage?
Expert:  Dr. Stan replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Thank you so much for your reply.

The bulge is likely a bent rib or cartilage without a break, which is a better prognosis, and will heal faster (less than 4 weeks). It is also possible that at the time of the injury that there was a bleed at the point of stress which subsequently formed a clot. If that is the case, it will resolve also. I suggest that you apply hot/ice compresses to the area twice daily, in addition to the anti-inflammation pain killers.

Please, feel free to clarify any further question(s). I'm here to assist you to your satisfaction.

Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you so much.

A Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.

Please note that this answer is for information only. It cannot be substituted for the visit to or the recommendation of your doctor.
Dr. Stan, Medical Physician and Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2701
Experience: Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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