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Possible internal injuries from a fall
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Possible internal injuries from a fall

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question and since this is my first post, I don't know how quickly a reply will be listed. Here is a summary of my problem. I fell three days ago from a 10' ladder and landed on my right butt. My right rib and lower right back have been in a lot of pain even though I didn't bump them on anything when I fell. I also messed up my shoulder on top of an old injury from another ladder fall. Now my stomach feels like it has expanded even though I feel hungry. I have also had notable weight gain prior to falling and also suffer from IBS. I have a slight cough and it hurts my rib when I cough or burp. I have not had any blood in my urine or stool and have not vomited at all. I have not felt dizzy or light headed, but I am extremely tired since the fall. What possible internal injury could I be experiencing with this kind of pain and bloating? Co you recommend that I be seen tomorrow?
Juugen
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Dear Juugen:

From what height did you fall? Did you fall from the top rung of the ladder - 10 feet?

It is possible to strain abdominal wall muscles or even strain intercostal muscles (between ribs) in a fall. However, a strain would not typically cause you to feel "bloated". However, given the brief description of your injury, it is possible that you strained your lower back.

Do you have any numbness or tingling in your legs? Weakness?

If you suspect that you have an "internal" injury, you should consider discussing your symptoms with a medical provider.

Overall, the absence of blood in your stool and urine is reassuring.


- Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
2 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your response. It has been a week now since the fall.

It was from 9 ft.The ladder simply buckled under me when I stepped on the 9th step so I partially rode the ladder down before hitting the ground.

I do not have any numbness or tingling in my legs. I do not really have any weakness either, just have felt very tired and the pain has made it difficult to do anything physically as well as making it hard to think.

As of today, my ribs still hurt and the pain seems to be worse at night, especially when reclining or laying flat, on one side or the other or on my back. I have been using an extra pillow to tuck under where ever it makes me feel more comfortable. The pain seems to be higher up than before. It feels better to stand or sit upright. I have not seen a doctor. I am using a topical ointment that contains 3.25% Camphor, 1.5% Menthol, and 15% Methyl salicylate. I have also been taking 1000 mg Acetaminophen, as needed, and applying a hot pad.

I think I am on the road to healing. The bloating is probably due to my IBS / constipation and the fact that I can't suck my tummy in because of the rib pain along with the weight gain makes me feel more bloated than what is normal for me. Bloating has been problematic in the evenings for quite some time. If you have any suggestions for helping with this, I would appreciate your advice.

Juugen
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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
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