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Popped rib
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by kellystuff164, Jan 05, 2008
In August, I didn't realise it, but I popped a rib, which the doctor and physio failed to diagnose. After 7 weeks I went to a chiropractor who found it and put it back into place. Since then it has 'popped ' out again 16 times with ever increasing frequency. I am now averaging every 3 days.... I have to go to the chiropractor every time to have it put back again. I am getting increasingly depressed, broke! and in constant pain. Is there any surgery that can be done to hold the rib in place?
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Member Comments (46)
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by daisey16, Jan 06, 2008
I have no clue about surgery but a brace might help?
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by kellystuff164, Jan 06, 2008
Unfortunately it's the 2nd rib down from my neck which goes partly under my shoulder blade, so I'm told it can't be strapped at all.
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by JainMD, Jan 08, 2008
Hi Kelly,
How old are you?
Any rib fractures when put back in place, given adequate rest, with immobility as maximums as possible heals within 3-4 weeks.
You may use OTC pain-killers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
Do not wear a rib belt or binder.
While rib belts or binders do control pain, they have been linked to hypoventilation, atelectasis, and pneumonia.
Have you got any imaging studies done? If yes, what is the report like?
If you are stressing out much while coughing, movements which harm rib fusion would lead to non-fusion of rib.
How is your calcium and Vit D status in your body?
Hope this helps you.
Keep me informed.
Bye.
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by kellystuff164, Jan 08, 2008
I've only just realised this is a US site and I am in UK, not sure if it is appropriate to put my question on here, as medical terms and treatments might be different...... but I am desparate so in case you can give me some advice anyway, I'll continue -
I am 43 years old, my rib has not fractured, but keeps coming out of the socket/joint? where it joins my backbone. I have not had any studies done as my doctor doesn't recognise the condition, so I am paying for my treatment all the time and cannot afford scans etc.
Coughing, sneezing, stretching have all caused it to pop out again, but however careful I am it still keeps happening.
Any advice gratefully received
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by JainMD, Jan 09, 2008
Hi Kelly,
I think you should be treating as follows:
-Avoid strenuous activity but exercise as tolerated.
-You may put an ice pack over the injured ribs for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to3 days.
-Coughing will be painful. Deep breathing and coughing is necessary to prevent pneumonia (lung infection). Use a pillow to support the area while coughing.
-You should continue to use the incentive spirometer at least 3 to 4 times a day.
-Do not smoke as this will inhibit bone formation and delay in fusion drastically.
-You can expect to have pain over the injured ribs for several weeks, which will improve over time.
-Try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen for pain
-Do not wear a rib belt.
-Adequate pain control, rapid mobilization, and meticulous respiratory care can prevent respiratory complications.
If you have breathing difficulty or high fever or worsening pain or vomiting, you can contact nearest hospital for further plan of management.
Hope this helps you.
Bye.
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by Samini, Jan 22, 2008
I recently injured my shoulder and back and tore the ligaments. A few of my ribs popped out as a result. I didn’t realize that this was what was wrong at first because I don’t have medical insurance so I can’t see a doctor about it. One of my friends is a nurse however, and she was in a car accident a few years back and had ribs pop out too. I spoke to her husband (who had helped her pop her ribs back in) and he recognized my symptoms right away and told me how to fix it.



What you need to do is, in either a sitting or standing position (make sure your back is kept straight so everything is in alignment, this is very important so no slouching or laying while doing this) have someone stand behind you and put their left hand on your left shoulder to brace it, so your back can be completely relaxed, don’t push against their hand, their hand should push backward on your shoulder (this is if a rib on your right side is popped out, for the left side reverse which hand they use but they still stand behind you). With their other hand they should find where the pain is on your back (it’ll be where ever the rib is out) and push gently at first and add just a little more pressure until it’s enough to pop it back in, at the same time your right arm should be extended out to the side (like you would do if you were trying to create a “T” shape with your arms, but only use the arm on the side that the rib is popped out, the other arm should be relaxed at your side. From your shoulder, move your arm in a big circle (do this while the person is pushing on the spot on your back, remember not to push against their hand, they should do all of the pushing using their other hand to brace your other shoulder). You may or may not hear and/or feel popping; don’t be alarmed about this, it’s supposed to do that. That’s the rib(s) going back into place. This should also feel like it’s relieving pressure. Keep going until either the popping stops or the sharp pain feels a bit better.

This is what I’ve been doing for a few days now and it’s worked for me. The pain is no longer unbearable now.

I hope this helps and I hope your ribs heal soon. Good luck.
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by jo78, Feb 04, 2008
Hi, Just wanted to know how you were getting on? I have the same problem as you and i really need advice. I started with severe pain on the left side of my upper back and went to the docters, who said i had pulled a muscle, so i rested but it was still no better after christmas so i went to see a chiropractor 2weeks ago who told me i had lifted 3 ribs, he put them back in place then 4 days later they popped back out again, yet again i repeated the process and what a surprise they have popped out again! I am very frustrated, went to the A.N.E today to see if they would give me an xray but they wouldn't! I'm off work because of the constant pain so i need to get better asap. Can anyone help???
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by JainMD, Feb 04, 2008
Hi jo,
I feel very sorry that this is happening to you. It appears from your post that you are very young.
Your ailment has now become a chronic disorder.
You still need to avoid strenuous activity but exercise as tolerated.
You can continue cryotherapy on the injured part for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Deep breathing and coughing is necessary to prevent pneumonia (lung infection). Use a pillow to support the area while coughing. You should continue to use the incentive spirometer at least 3 to 4 times a day.
Do not smoke as this will inhibit bone formation and delay in fusion drastically.
You can continue to take analgesics different class from earlier one.
Do not wear a rib belt.
Adequate pain control, rapid mobilization, and meticulous respiratory care can prevent respiratory complications.
You can reach ER if you have any breathing difficulty.
Hope this helps you.
Bye.
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by jo78, Feb 05, 2008
Thankyou so much for your advice, I will follow it and hopefully I will get better soon. I have another appontment with the chiropractor tomorrow.