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Rib Removal?
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Rib Removal?

I have a loose rib, and it's been causing me sooo much pain for over a year now. I am so fusterated, I just want to get it taken out! Has anybody had a rib removed? Was it severely painful? Does it feel different? How long is the recovery time? THANKS!
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Avatar_n_tn
I think we have the same problem, and it has caused me pain for 19 months now. Here are the symptoms I have, do you have the same ones?

Intense pain when pressure is applied to the site (in my case, where the rib connects to the cartilage, it is one of my ribs near the bottom of my rib cage, way past the sternum). The lightest touch or the lightest amount of pressure causes it to hurt. Pain when leaning back or to the side far enough to stretch the rib cage. When sitting up in bed after laying down all night, feels like a cement block is sitting on it. Doesn't hurt unless touched or stretched, thank goodness, otherwise I would need pain killers. You don't know how many times I've wanted to just yank the rib out, it's almost like it's something that plagues you, especially after all these months. Used to I'd have these episodes where it would start hurting constantly and it was terrible and I couldn't lean back, etc. When I first had the injury, it would keep me up at night because it would be like fluttering and pulsating and I would have to put heat on it to get it to stop.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had lung cancer (tumor) and in order to get to it they had to remove 3 of my ribs.  I am now cancer free but in so much pain that i can not live normal with out medication.  Each month it seems likje it is getting a little better but it is such a slow recovery.  They rebuilt my chest wall with a material call gore-tex ( which is used in ski apparel)  I have been all over the internet trying to find someone who had the same type of surgery done and have not found anyone.  I don't think they have to rebulit if its only one rib but because mine was three ribs my shoulder would of collapsed so they had to rebuild it.  I am in constant pain.  Hope this is helpful info.  would i go threw it again? yes to be cancer free its worth it.
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Avatar_n_tn
i have slipping rib syndrome and like you said it flares up about every 2 or 3 months. Now it has been longer. i am really thinking about having it removed, I need to know about recovery time since you had yours taken out..This is very important, i am tired of hurting.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had a rib removed after an accident. initially after surgery i was very sore and limited in my movement. after 6 weeks i was driving again and back at work. only problem is now i have what i call a soft spot that if pushed feels very uncomfortable
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a my 8th rib removed last year due to a bone tumor.  I was fortunate and it was benign.  I could not find anyone that had similar surgeries and it has been a long painful recovery.

I was in so much pain 3 months post op I was always crying and had difficulty sleeping.  I went to Physical Therapy and the had me do some stretches and also gave me an abdominal support and that relieved a lot of pressure and pain.  

I am on lyrica which is for nerve pain.

I am again having increased pain and I am 11 months post op. The area where the rib was removed is very sensitive to touch and any touch to the area is painful. I sleep on the couch with pillows propped everywhere to prevent pain.
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Avatar_n_tn
My 20 y.o. son had his lower R rib taken out six months ago {his metastisized site of bone cancer - Ewing's Sarcoma]. He is now experiencing a great deal of pain and can not sleep at night. He's only been off treatment for 2 months so I'm hoping his cancer hasn't returned. I'm thinking something's wrong with the Gore-tex they put in.
What kind of scans do they take to determine the cause of the pain and what type of surgery do they do? The exact same one and hope it 'works' this time?
  Thanks for any help,
Mary
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Avatar_n_tn
I was just diagnosed with a 2"x3" tumor that is growing outward between three of my ribs.  They want to remove all three ribs to make sure they get all of the tumor.  You are the first person I have come across in all my research that has almost the exact scenario.  I really hope you get this message and can give me more details and what to expect.  I am 41 with 5 and 8 year daughters and I fear not for me, but for them.  Any encouragement or info from anyone else out there would also be appreciated.

Sue
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey, I'm 19 and had/have Ewing's Sarcoma, there was a 4"x6" tumor on my ribs. After 6 sessions of chemotherapy (vide) I went in for rib removal. I got out of surgery a few days ago, where I had 2 full ribs removed, and most of 6 other ribs. Which was replaced by two prosthetic ribs and a plastic mesh to cover the rest. I find it nearly impossible to sleep, i have to lay on my back, or sitting up slightly. Oddly enough most of the pain is in my shoulder, and the area around my chest is sensitive and sore around the edges. Can't give you any info on the recovery time. But i had surgery on Tuesday, was out of hospital on the sunday, and can walk around easily and do most light chores, shoulder pain is constant though for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Apologies, it was 10"x8" before the chemotherapy, 6"x4" after chemo when i was ready for surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply.  Wow, you had a lot of rib/ribs removed and I'm amazed that you're doing light chores already.  It's very encouraging to hear from you and it also makes me realize how luck I am.  It turns out that I have a solitary fibrous tumor that is benign, but has to be removed due to their becoming malignant as the grow larger.  My thoracotomy is scheduled for the last week of January and the surgeon said he would only be using the gortex mesh to replace the ribs and that he would also possibly be doing a lobectomy on the upper right part of the lung.  He also said I would always have a weak spot that would "bulge" when I breathe deep.  I wish you a speedy recovery and would really like to stay in touch and hear your progress.  Have a great holiday and take care.

Sue
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had a rib removed and replaced with a Gore-tex graft 8 weeks ago.   My chest over the spot bulges and recesses as I breathe.  I also have a crackling and whistling in that area when I lie down. I sleep propped up.   My surgeon tells me not to worry.  He says that's the graft vibrating that causes that, and will eventually stop....2-3 months.  Very annoying and causes anxiety.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had two ribs removed in August due to what they first thought was a tumor, but it turned out to be a large mass of calcified material that had formed over 30 years from a previous injury.  Since that time, I still am having problems with swelling on the side where surgery was done.  I also have some pain.  I was not told to do any therapy exercises and wondered if they might help.  Any suggestions?
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Avatar_m_tn
  I had about 2 inches of my left 7th rib removed because of a plasma cytoma tumor.  Twenty five radiation treatments had not made the tumor "disappear" as one oncologist had hoped for.  This was over 2 years ago.

  The surgeon also used just a Gortex patch to cover the opening.  The area also balloons out and in when I breathe heavily.  I have no real pain, but sleep is difficult and I feel best when I sleep on my left side and put pressure on the missing rib area.

   I am going to see my surgeon in a few weeks to see if anyone could put a prosthesis / piece of plastic / titanium / pcv pipe from Home Depot to fill the gap and shore up the rib cage.  When I bend forward, it feels like my left rib cage moves forward.  Doctors originally said they don't replace the missing rib unless many ribs are removed.
   Email me at ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
  I am a general contractor with a rib that breaks twice a year for the past 5 or 6 years. Its all due to calcium deposit the will never let the bone heal to full strength. went to a chest sutgeon last year, he said next time we will have it out. time goes on it knits and no pain so i let it go. lo and behold, its busted again.and this time its done well. Will keep posted as to the outcome as im having the bugger out. It cant be as painfull as it is every time it breaks. no sleep,sports,sneezing,coughing,and the wife has had it too... work has to go on.. go figure. How do i spell pain..... R.I.B.!     Darrell S
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Avatar_f_tn
My boyfriend had half of his 7th rib removed yesterday due to a tumor on his rib. He is very stubborn and checked himself out of the hospital before they wanted to release him. He is in quite a bit of pain even when taking his pain relievers. Does anyone know how long the pain will last? Or how long it takes to recover?
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Avatar_m_tn
I live in country Victoria, Australia and have had massive pain in my right 6th rib since early August 2011. I've been sent for x rays, CT scan, CT nuclear bone scan, blood tests and more. All of which show a growth on my 6th right rib. The doctors and surgeon says it must be an old fracture where the bone has grown over it and says it could not be cancer because cancer does NOT appear in anyone's ribs. Anyway the surgeon wants to remove ALL of my 6th right rib, from the centre of my chest to the centre of my back and claims that I will only be in massive pain for 2 to 3 months after the surgery. After reading the other comments on this site, I have discovered that cancer does grow on ribs and that the "after surgery" pain can last much longer than just 2 to 3 months. This means that the doctors and surgeons are wrong about cancer NOT growing on ribs and wrong about how long the massive pain will last. Surgery wise I have been categorised as "1" which means "urgent" and that surgery must be done within 30 days, meaning by the 14th January 2012...Can anyone suggest anything please?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I have exactly the same thing 6cm tumour R 6th rib and am awaiting surgery now they are going to remove the whole rib front to back and have told me that it is cancerous. I have seen 5 surgeons and all say that its really no big deal, one stated that he has a patient that had 3 ribs removed and has just finish a triathlon. Pain killers and physio is the go and they all said 6 week tops and you should be back up and running. Humans can function as normal with the loss of a rib so chin up and work through it Good Luck
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Avatar_m_tn
yes they are wrong. I have a growth on my 9th rib and they want to remove it plus the growth which is a ACC. I can not find out out long it will take to recover. It goes from 2 months to 6 months? which could be a long time to be on Pain Med. Can anyone confirm a time
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I have my rib out on the 31st so I will do a weekly update were possible
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Avatar_m_tn
hello, in the even that you're still checking on your post, any feedback?  I'm curious, i have a resection coming up next week and it would be nice to hear how you might be healing so far?  I put a separate post earlier in a separate forum but would love if you had some feedback on your recovery....
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi well went in to RPA on the Tuesday to have the 6th Rib removed. Accidently they removed 12 cm of the 5th rib by mistake and then removed 14 cm of the 6th rib the next day. So I lost 2 ribs but within 2 hours of leaving recovery i was walking the halls of the ward carrying my drain in one hand. Pain wise OK the meds give you are great I was on Endone every 3 to 4 hours plus other stuff. They had to put a drain in to remove excess liquid around the lung this they warned my is not nice but I would have rated it alittle wose than giving blood. Take all they say with a happy grain of salt as they prepare you for the worst pain and realy if you say carm and look at it all as here we go its not to bad. Try hard to get FULL breaths its very important, I had to constantly remine myself to do that and it help so much. I went home on the 6th day and stayed on Endone, Nurofen and or Paracetamol for 2.5weeks every 4 to 6 hrs (ask your doctor re the meds) and was totaly upright while sleeping and that was great ( the same position as in hospital ). Now 4 weeks on I taking 10 to 15 % of the meds and an arrange my return to work and sports if I had an office job I would have returned after 1 to 2 weeks but I am a butcher so its a little longer. OVERALL not any were near as bad as I thought worrying about it caused apprehension that was never needed hope this helps and will keep you updated
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the EXACT same surgery 3 years ago, and I am still in constant pain. The trauma of the surgery caused fibromyalgia, which I take Cymbalta for. Plus the invasive surgery causes extensive nerve and blood vessel damage, which will last a lifetime. I believe with the ribs removed, you now have joint and muscle instability. Even a tiny instability will cause pain. I am on a painkiller, Cymbalta, Meloxicam, and Trazadone. I live every single day in pain, but I, like you, am just very grateful to be alive.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had three ribs removed because of a bone tumor. Very painful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Curly1402,

I'm wondering what type of surgeon removed your rib.  I think I may need this because of slipped rib and trauma, but have not been able to find a doctor who performs this kind of surgery.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd251
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi were are you in general these Drs are every where
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Avatar_m_tn
Hope you are doing well!   I had a rib resection in May, 2012 due to mastastasized breast cancer, however, just a 4" portion of the rib was removed.  The doctor placed a piece mesh over the area of the removed rib & 'cemented' it in place.  I am not experiencing any real pain, but I do have shortness of breath all the time. When I take a deep breath, yawn, sneeze, cough, etc. I feel like I have a tight band across my chest and it is very uncomfortable.  

I just spoke to the doctor a couple days ago and he thinks my problems are due to my rib cage's inability to expand as it normally should when you take a deep breath.  I would rather deal with this than cancer!  

Best of luck!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had the exact same procedure done , I am fresh out of the hospital one week , they had removed my 7th rib due to a growth on it. How did you deal with the pain?how are you now?
I am having severe discomfort in my lower back and in the area of the procedure.

***@****

Rudik
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I am now 10 months post the op and its a day to day nightmare. Have had extra work done at a good pain clinic and not good, still work every day but thats what pain killers are for good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
I also had lung cancer and it started to eat through my ribs. They had to remove 4 of my ribs under my shoulder blade in about a 6x6 area.  It messed up my shoulder functions as well. I am in pain all the time. The pain pills also effect up my appetite and I am not gaining my weight back. I am still down 50 lbs, it has been 6 months since the surgery, They also used the goretex to cover the area where the ribs were removed. I see its been a while since you posted and wonder how you made out? You can email me directly, ***@****  Thanks Mark
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Avatar_f_tn
In November of 2010 I had 4 inches of my left 9th rib and 3 1/2 of the 8th and 10th ribs (above and below) removed.  I needed the surgery as a result of myeloma/plasmacytoma; the tumor had grown to the point of causing a pathological fracture in my 9th rib and was spreading through the chest wall to my other ribs and soft tissue. Now 2 1/2 years later, I am still in constant pain and taking pain meds everyday to manage pain. I tried Cymbalta and can not take it because of rare side effects (full body seizures).  Lyrica is part of my daily medicine routine. I have been through 3-4 rounds of PT since the surgery and it does not work. I'm glad to be cancer free, at least at this point, but I wish I had known how much this surgery was going to change my life and my body.  I am not the same person I was before. I would recommend 2nd and 3rd opinions before moving forward with this surgery.  
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5450604_tn?1368151794
Hi, I have ewings on my ribs too and have had 11 cycles of chemo and 6 weeks of radio. I am due same surgery as you in 3 weeks, I was wondering if you could tell me how its been after surgery for you?
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Avatar_m_tn
my husband has had this done, and he too is suffering, and on pain meds. They can not say he is cancer free, we are hoping though.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I started costochondritis in April of 2009 suddenly and despite MRI, xray they could not do anything for me except effexor and nerve pain medicine. sometimes the pain was 10 and I would have to go to the ER but was always sent home after a pain shot( one ER nurse two years ago correctly diagnosed me). All my X-rays they said showed nothing wrong when I looked at them I could see the left side clearly looked different from the right. I went to every type of doctor and nobody could help me. One day in jan 2013 I started to feel around the bottom of my ribs and noticed when I moved my tenth rib moved up under my 9 th apparently the test for this is a moving ultrasound, my primary doctor could feel it and thought it was gross but had no idea what to  do about it. if you sit down on edge of chair and bear down as if you are going to the bathroom you will feel the bone drive in to your insides. I couldn't stand living in pain anymore. I called the thoraic surgeons office Dr Burns at St Barn in Livingston nj after 4 years of really bad pain by just standing in front of him he felt my rib and said the cartilage was broken off and the rib was shearing my intercostal nerve. March 25 I went in and my 10 th rib was cut out and sawed off at the side about four inches and biopsied it was fine. The operation took about half hour. The recovery was no worse than an appendix and it hurt less than  recovering from a broken bone. My primary doctor had never heard of it slipping rib or the operation. Now it is Nov I have no pain and am completely off all meds. Lifting is still a problem and if I do too much I get chest muscle pain but I am fixed especially from the chronic costochondritis and I have my life back. I am very grateful to Dr Burns for taking the time to agree to see me and fix me and basically change my life. A slipping rib or rib tip syndrome does not show up on mri or xray and the radiologist do not identify it if you saw my xray you would see a tangle of bones hanging down, why did I have to suffer so long. Also I was very sick to my stomach when the rib was slipping. The symptoms were costochondritis  terrible nausea extreme pain especially after walking or bending, lower rib pain on both sides even though the right side was fine and extreme sternum and upper back pain. don't be afraid of the surgery was same day surgery. I hope this helps someone so they don't  have to suffer like I did. My previous diagnosis was fibromyalgia, mental problems, tietze syndrome ,fibrosis and many others, none of which I had. Trust yourself research touch your own body learn your body identify your pain be proactive you can overcome and get better. I lost 4 years of my life to a detached lower left rib.
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Avatar_m_tn
i am 46 yrs. old and 1 year post surgery and am in pain all the time. i had ribs 8,9,10 and 11 removed on both sides plus they removed about half my sternum. all i can say is get a very comfy recliner, your gonna be living in it. my upper abdomen swells huge after very little activity, walking is even painfull. i chose not to take pain meds for the rest of my life because i like my liver and kidneys. the whole front of my chest and abdomen are unbelievably numb. my dr. says that will never go away. a little sarcasm for you...the last thing i told my dr. was i didn't want a lot of stuff taken out of me that couldn't be put back in, apparently he didn't hear me. i had this condition for 17 years prior to surgery. they waited as long as they could to do it because they said my physical life would be over, they were right! now workers comp stalks me all the time and they keep trying to send me back to work. my surgery was an 8 hour deal. the only thing i did for the first 2 days was moan in agony even with the moraphine. i spent 4 days in the hospitol then went home. nobody would even tell me what was done, i had to request my medical records and find out for myself. i also have a steel plate in my chest holding whats left of my sternum together, thats been there for 15 years and has been repaired 3 times over the years and is coming off again. i keep pulling the screws out. it now just bounces around on top of my sternum and no one seems to wanna remove it. all i can say is i'm dead serious about getting a comfy recliner, it seems to be the only positon that affords relief except for standing. what is the thing i want most in life now?...to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep, but that will never happen. i still have 1 large rib left on my right side, it is broken but they decided to leave it. when i asked my dr. why he said we gotta leave some ribs.
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6805991_tn?1384975132
i want one remover so bad since 95 but no one will do it.its close to my spine,the pain has been so bad iv tryed killing myself 3time this week has be hell its hurts so bad,its in my back by my shoulder on right side.i broke one and cracket two they look like they heal but the one that was broke dont look wright i know a muscle or a nerve is in betten it,they said they would have to crack my chest.iv told them i dont care then they say no its to big of a surgery,if it gets worse they will think about it.lol what a joke has anyone had one removed by there spine,,i pray i could FIND ME A DOCTOR ON HERE TO HELP ME..PLEASE,ANTHONY FRYE JACKSON TN..tony_fr2013***@**** i dont care what info i put out,pain sine 95,,7319289239.i pray all the time
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Avatar_f_tn
I know your op was several years ago, but how is your "soft spot" now? Is it still tender to pressure on it?    I had same op as you nearly three yrs ago and have the same prob....a tender "soft spot" that afftects me leaning back in a chair too. Wondered if I'm like this for life....?
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Avatar_m_tn
I had 8.5 cm removed from my 5th rib mid Nov last year. All benign. But jeez. 6 days in hospital, lung collapsed post surgery, sub cut emphysema, chemical gastritis .ketamine od ...2 met calls...I resigned to the fact I wasn't going to make it home... Not a pleasant experience at all... Now the recouperation. Still in pain. On lyrica 2x daily. Tried not taking it for a day to assess for myself but sadly still badly need it.  Anyone pain free post surgery and what time frame can I expect.  But I must add I am gaining weight although I am walking daily which I never did before and my brain power capacity at work has diminished. Not sure if that's the lyrica side effects. But happy to feel like life's all still ahead of me
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Avatar_m_tn
hi penny, my son 10 months old, he is having benign tumor on his left 3rd rib, doctor told us required 3rd rib resection. can you tell us how complex this process also he can't express when he feel pain also what is the recovery period?
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Avatar_m_tn
Did your son have his surgery yet?
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Avatar_m_tn
In 2004 I had a tumor and a rib removed. I am in pain all the time I have no muscle in my right side, when I walk my side swells out, and in makes it hard to breath. If any of you find any answers for rib replacement  Please inform me. I would give anything to have a my side held in. GOD BLESS YOU ALL !
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Avatar_m_tn
In 2004 I had a tumor and a rib removed. I am in pain all the time I have no muscle in my right side, Herniated from my spine up to  3/4 the way around when I walk my side swells out, and in makes it hard to breath. If any of you find any answers for rib and muscle replacement  Please inform me. I would give anything to have a my side held in. GOD BLESS YOU ALL I WISH YOU ALL GOOD HEALTH!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi! Welcome to MedHelp! I am the Orthopedic Community Leader for MedHelp. I am fairly new to this site and am trying to catch up and see if I can help anyone with additional information. I am a Orthopedic First Assistant. I am sorry to hear of your predicament. There is a Titanium Rib made by Synthes, unfortunately it has thus far only been approved for TIS (Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome) by the FDA. It is called VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib). It functions by connecting the ribs vertically in the empty space between the ribs. You can see pictures if you go to the FDA site (just Google FDA, go to site, click on Medical Implants, search for VEPTR). Sorry I don't have better news, maybe they will expand this device usage soon. Best wishes! jd1963
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9600877_tn?1404777772
On July 15th 2014 I will be having surgery to remove a tumor about the size of a tennis ball from my 5th and 6th rib, along with surrounding tissue and possibly part of my chest wall.  A plastic surgeon will be on stand by to remove tissue from another place in my body to help fill up this hole.  The doctor said he was putting mesh to hold me together.  Has anyone had this done.  What kind of recovery time?  How long of a hospital stay?
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