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I think I dislocated a rib

LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, so I went rock climbing for the first time on Saturday and I think I dislocated one of my ribs. I thought it was a pulled muscle at first, but after a couple days the pain feels very much like a similar pain I get in my feet every now and then. Basically I have to "pop" the joint and the pain is gone. I hadn't really thought about it before but that sounds like a dislocation. I'm not in debilitating pain or anything, but it is limiting. I can take a full breath but it hurts towards the end. If I press on the ribs around the pain it doesn't hurt, but if I get right on top of it, it's pretty painful.

I plan on double checking with my parents tomorrow, but I am pretty sure I am not on their insurance plan anymore and I don't have any insurance of my own.

Now, I suppose what I'm looking for is advice. Is there anything I can do to help this on it's way? Maybe some way to confirm what it is that would be cheap if not free? I saw several things online saying that seeing a chiropractor is the way to go. My only experience with chiropractors comes from that one episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit! If a chiropractor is the right choice, I can't imagine that would be cheap.

So yeah, I guess any advice you all have would be much appreciated, thanks.

Posts

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    You don't have any cheap walk-in clinics near you?

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

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  • KafkaAUKafkaAU Western AustraliaRegistered User regular
    I've broken/fractured a couple of ribs, and even if you get diagnosed there's not a lot that can be done. Basically painkillers for the pain, if you can't stand it, then just let it heal.

    You should probably still get it checked though, as there can be other complications such as cutting the lungs with a shard of bone.

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  • Mad JazzMad Jazz Registered User regular
    Yeah, it's much more likely that it's a small fracture rather than a dislocation. Dislocated ribs are extremely painful (not to mention pretty difficult to get). What actually happened when you got injured?

    As far as diagnosis and treatment go, it's more or less only diagnosable via xray, and there's not much to do for treatment other than taking ibuprofen and maybe some stronger painkillers if you go to a doc and get them prescribed.

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  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    a dislocation would mean pain in the back or front of your chest and is unlikely.

    most likely it is a bruise or a bone bruise, both of which will heal with time. if it still hurts in a week, see a doctor. I am not a doctor.

  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    KafkaAU wrote: »
    I've broken/fractured a couple of ribs, and even if you get diagnosed there's not a lot that can be done. Basically painkillers for the pain, if you can't stand it, then just let it heal.

    You should probably still get it checked though, as there can be other complications such as cutting the lungs with a shard of bone.

    This is pretty much all you can do, if it's really bad they may wrap you up in a tight chest bandage to prevent the rib from cutting the inside walls of your abdomen and to keep you from twisting in a way that might force the rim inward. If I had to guess I'd say you probably bruised your rib, I've broken 3 ribs and bruised more then that... broken is ALWAYS painful, bruised is sometimes painful.

  • sacreandprofanesacreandprofane Registered User
    edited April 2012
    Lankysean wrote: »
    KafkaAU wrote: »
    I've broken/fractured a couple of ribs, and even if you get diagnosed there's not a lot that can be done. Basically painkillers for the pain, if you can't stand it, then just let it heal.

    You should probably still get it checked though, as there can be other complications such as cutting the lungs with a shard of bone.

    This is pretty much all you can do, if it's really bad they may wrap you up in a tight chest bandage to prevent the rib from cutting the inside walls of your abdomen and to keep you from twisting in a way that might force the rim inward. If I had to guess I'd say you probably bruised your rib, I've broken 3 ribs and bruised more then that... broken is ALWAYS painful, bruised is sometimes painful.

    If when you take a deep breath it hurts at all, I highly recommend that you see a doctor.

    I cracked three ribs last month - all hairline fractures. It hurt for me to lie down on my side, for me to carry things. it even hurt when I laughed, sneezed, or coughed; however, when the doctor asked me to take a deep breath, I didn't feel much pain, in which case he said it was probably just a few hairline fractures and nothing serious. X-ray was done and this was confirmed, so he gave me a prescription for Ibuprofen. I tried one and my stomach didn't react well to the medication, even something as simple as ibuprofen (though, it was a high dosage), so I just sucked-it-up and took it easy on my body. It took 4-5 weeks for the ribs to heal, and now all is well - no more pain. What is a possible concern is if it hurts when you take a deep breath. You're probably going to be fine with a lot of rest for a few weeks, but in the case of your pain upon breathing I do very much suggest that you see a doctor to confirm. All the best.

    sacreandprofane on
  • puffycowpuffycow Registered User regular
    I cracked a rib 2 years back and as said about there isn't a whole lot you can do for it. The main reason I am posting is to contradict Lankysean a little bit. From what I understand, they do not wrap your ribs any longer. The benefit was it helped subside a pain a bit but the downside was that people were inadvertently taking shorter breaths and collapsing their own lungs because of it.

    Now if you go to a doctor and they wrap it then I'd assume it's fine. I just don't want you to do it yourself assuming it will help.

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  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    puffycow wrote: »
    I cracked a rib 2 years back and as said about there isn't a whole lot you can do for it. The main reason I am posting is to contradict Lankysean a little bit. From what I understand, they do not wrap your ribs any longer. The benefit was it helped subside a pain a bit but the downside was that people were inadvertently taking shorter breaths and collapsing their own lungs because of it.

    I was unaware of this, I should have noted that I haven't broken any ribs in 15-20 years so I should have assumed medical technology has changed.

  • jkruse05jkruse05 Registered User
    edited April 2012
    My brother has had cracked ribs before (my fault technically) and I currently have bruised ribs. I definitely recommend seeing a physician to find out exactly what the problem is, especially if you have decent medical coverage. A simple bruise will heal over time with no extra treatment, though it can be annoyingly uncomfortable (I have trouble sleeping because of the position of the bruising). Something more, however, such as a dislocation, crack, or break, can have longer lasting ramifications if not treated properly, specifically in upper body mobility.

    If it is usually fine and just hurts when you move or stretch, it is probably a bruise. If it constantly hurts and becomes sharper, potentially crippling, when moving it is likely a break. Your description of pain sounds like a bruise, though the extra 'pop' that you describe may, potentially, indicate a dislocation.

    Wrapping ribs (a rib belt) is an optional treatment that is currently left up to the patient.

    At least, this is all the stuff I was told when I got mine checked out.

    jkruse05 on
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