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Doctor Chip
Doctor Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 22478
Experience:  20 yrs practice, surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine, pain
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How do I treat my bruised rib from a car accident 5 days ago

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How do I treat my bruised rib from a car accident 5 days ago? I was the driver and totalled my car ...crashing into a tree. I think I was constrained too tightly by the seat belt. Guess it saved my life though. My doctor told me my bruises were consistent with seat bellt injury. He just said to take Advil and take it easy. It's so painful! What else can I do? Glenda Gregorcyk
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 3 years ago.

Can you tell me about the pain--it's location and severity? Were X-Rays and/or scans performed after the accident?

Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 3 years ago.
It would help to know some more before I answer, since this may involved more than your ribs.............
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
O.K. The pain is 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. When I'm up. When I try to lie down it's intolerable. I wince and moan until I just drop my upper torso in bed. I have a hospital bed for the 2nd night now. I lower it as much as possible and then raise the head slightly and sit and swing in. The lowering onto the pillows is very painful. The pain is the rib in front under by right breast. there is some visible bruising, but not like the bruising on the rest of my body that was restrained by the seat belt. My doctor pressed...OUCH!... on the spot and around to the back...that was all the area! He said it was not cracked or broken, just bruised. He said to take Advil...no more than 12 a day. Better...8 a day. The pain is so bad I have to take 3 every 6 hours around the clock. Don't sleep through night. Once I drop my upper torso in the bed I can't move to another position. Getting up to pee is ...like O.K. I'll just pee in bed! Doc said I would begin to feel better in 2 weeks. what else can I do? I don't work... but I mean I have to move around . The cane helps because I walk so slowly and seem like I have to have something to lean on. I'm 60 but in relatively good health. Now when I take deep breath...I can...but it hurts. I don't panic though. But this sitting instead of lying is getting old. Is there physicall therapy for this kind of thing? Give me some suggestions with dealing with the pain and how can I can help the healing process? Glenda Gregorcyk
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's about it.
Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK--the reason I asked for more information is twofold--one, if X-Rays weren't taken, it could be not just a cracked rib but a jagged, broken rib that could puncture your lung and cause a pneumothorax, and, two, injuries that fracture ribs can, of themselves, cause a pneumothorax or a fracture, in your case, of the liver. If you haven't had, at least, X-Rays, you should, and I might include a CT of the chest and abdomen. If it's only a cracked rib, aside from pain medication and warm compresses, there really isn't much else to do save getting an intercostal nerve block to deaden the pain. One last thing--even though it'll be painful, you should force yourself to take a really deep breath every ten minutes or so to keep your lungs inflated, since, if that doesn't happen, you can get a pneumonia on top of this.
Doctor Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 22478
Experience: 20 yrs practice, surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine, pain
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