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Avatar universal

bruised rib?

I leaned over a narrow windowsill ledge in an open window a few days ago after dropping something out side and trying to retreive it (stupid, I know), and ended up huring my upper rib(s) on the left side, just under my left breast. It as right where the windowsill was...

It was only slightly painful at first, but that has increased significantly over the past 2 days. It is sore and achy all the time, especially when I lay down at night or first thing in the morning when I have to get out of bed and when I am reaching for and/or lifting something.  It gets a bit better as I move around a bit, and is more painful on the side/front area of my upper rib, and there is a little bit of numbness as well.

There is no bruising or any external marks at all.

* I had a TRAM flap surgery (for breast reconstruction after mastectomy) on that same side 4 years ago, and there is a small bulk of muscle in that same place that was folded up to make the new left breast, and I am wondering if I bruised it somehow? or bruised my rib bone perhaps?
It does not feel broken.

Someone suggested Ibuprofen in 600-800 mgs doses, which does help, but it really makes my stomach quite upset.

thanks so much for any information you can give me.

10 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
A musculoskeletal injury can certainly be considered.  Imaging the rib area with a plain film can ensure there is nothing broken.  

Most cases of bruising will resolve in time.  Physical therapy can help with the recovery period.  You can also consider anti-inflammatories (as you are doing with ibuprofen).  You can consider a COX-2 preferential medications like Lodine or Relafen, which may be gentler on the stomach.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Avatar universal
You need to see your doc. You can't diagnose something ( or anything!)like that on your own or on the internet. You need an xray or something, you might not think it is broken but a bruised ribs can be terribly painful too, plus you have had surgery in that region so you need to ensure you didn't traumatize something. Take it easy, use the ibuprophen in the mean time and call the doc.
Avatar universal
Kalio1 is correct.  Xrays may be in order.  I have broken a rib, and also have "bruised" one.  Even a bruised rib can take quite a long time to become pain free.  It is probably best to have Xrays done.  You also need to have the muscle flap checked. Regarding ibuprofen, have you been taking it with at least a small amount of food?  Please do so.   By the way, I prescribe 400-600 mg of ibuprofen to my patients.  Years ago, upon carefully reading the Physician's Desk Reference, I discovered that doses of ibuprofen ABOVE 400 mg do not yield much more pain relief than 400 mg.  Spare your stomach.
Avatar universal
Thank you!
I took your advice and went to teh emergency room and got an x-ray and and exam, and thank goodness nothing is broken, but I did in fact bruise my lower left rib.  And you are right, it is quite painful!
But I am very relieved to KNOW what it is.
Thanks again.
Avatar universal
Glad you were seen! Hope they gave you some pain reief help, don't get discouraged it can take a long time to heal. Try to rest and stay away from window ledges!
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