Orthopedics Community
Dislocated Rib? Treatment?
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to orthopedics, back pain, bone or joint pain, broken bones, hip or knee replacement, neck and shoulder pain, orthopedic surgery, spinal injury, sports injury, and tennis elbow.

Font Size:
Blank Blank

Dislocated Rib? Treatment?

About 6 days ago one of my BRILLIANT friends decided he would "crack my back" despite my objection. As he wrapped me and picked me up, my arm was pinned between him and my rib cage and then he put on the squeeze. After about 5-7 seconds of intense pressure and expletives, he finally dropped me when we both felt/heard a very loud, painful POP. Based on the rib cage image I pulled off the web, the pain occurs right around where the rib would meet the cartilage off the right side of my sternum. Based on what I have read, a broken rib consists of an almost debilitating pain so my guess, given the "pop" and the pain, is that the rib was dislocated. That being said, most rib injuries seem to be treated with pain killers and time, however if there is a dislocation, proper realignment was reported to relieve 70% of the pain almost immediately. So here are my questions:

1. Is it worth seeing a doctor? If so, what kind of doctor would I see?
2. Can I "relocate" this puppy myself? I'd certainly rather leave it to a professional, but if its a matter of stretching one way, twisting another, and giving a little push - I figure it might at least be worth a try.
3. I'm a triathlete in the middle of training season and can't afford (don't want to afford) time off. I was able to run 6-7 miles a few days back with lingering pain as my right foot struck the ground, but nothing I would (normally) let force me to the couch. Will exercising with this injury (assuming I can tolerate the pain) cause significant and further damage? Or will this heal when its ready assuming I keep it out of "blunt force traumas" way?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
4 Comments Post a Comment
Also, since the injury I have experience what feels like heart burn/indigestion... I get that occasionally but it just seemed strange that they started in unison. Could this be an effect of the swelling?

Hi there!

1. Yes, I would recommend seeing a primary care physician initially for an evaluation.
2. It would be difficult to do it yourself even if you knew how to do it.
3. I would suggest seeing a doctor and getting a diagnosis before deciding on the management plan or how would exercise affect it.
Hope this helps.

Take care!
Oh wow.  Everything u said is what happened to me.  I can't afford to go in, I already owe so much in med bills after my husband passed away he also left me w no med ins.  But I've been unable to move in a week only laying flat and all the symptoms u said- I'm having a hard time having deep breath or yawn, when it happened everyone heard loud pop it felt like my rib popped out of my rib cage!  I didn't know what to think.  I wish more people would say something helpful aside from go to doc.  Just someone whos ready been, I'm nervous I'd have to give up my house for some surgery (my left rib is pokingout a bit) or whatever.  I'm nervous.
I had the same symptoms, I went straight to the Chiropractor and she reset my rib. 29.00

A severely pulled muscle in my back cramped and dislocated my rib. It even left a bruise on my back. She said it would hurt to reset and it sure did. But three days of bed rest and no heavy lifting for another week and I am starting to feel myself again.
Remember not to lift and twist!

Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Orthopedics Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
Jan 27 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGDBlank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Orthopedics Answerers
Four Corners