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I have 2 broken ribs seen on xrays but not on ct. is this…

Customer Question
I have 2 broken...

I have 2 broken ribs seen on xrays but not on ct. is this normal. also I was unable to cooperative with ct because I could not put my arm over my head. it is extremely painful. what should I do

Doctor's Assistant: What seems to make the symptoms worse or better? In general, how would you describe your health lately?

It hurts ti inhale plus thee pain around the ribs is excruciating. I splint thee area with a small pillow and am taking zanaflaxx and vicodin

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

No. bit this was do to a fall

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
1/7/2018
Doctor: Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor replied 6 months ago
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9,875
Experience: MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
Verified

Hi,
Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. I'm sorry to hear about your symptoms. Actually the CT should have shown broken ribs if they were present, usually, a CT is much more accurate than a xray to diagnose broken ribs however as you said you were unable to perform the Ct as advised, it is possible that because of the improper positioning the broken ribs were missed. If the x-ray shows CLEAR rib fractures and given the symptoms are correlating with a fracture, I would trust the x-ray and treat you as such. Now the treatment of rib fractures is usually bed rest, splinting the side with pillows while you cough (as you are already doing), anti-inflammatory medications including ibuprofen at a dose of 800 mg thrice daily ( i would advise adding this with Zanaflex and Vicodin). Applying topical OTC capsaicin gel to the area, heat application up to 5 times a day.

If none of these measures work then we can go for intercostal nerve blocks. These are injections which are given directly into the region of the broken ribs and these injections can block the nerves which control the pain. A single injection can provide significant pain relief and in fact in many cases can cause the pain to disappear for a significant amount of time. Intercostal nerve blocks can be an option which should be explored if your pain is not being controlled by the other measures. Even an epidural can be inserted in very severe cases where the pain is not controlled.

I would suggest that you talk to your doctor about an intercostal nerve block and implement the other procedures, but the block would help in most cases.

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Doctor: Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor replied 6 months ago

Would you like to know anything else? Any clarifications or additional questions that you might have, i would be happy to answer them for you. If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating

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