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Avatar universal

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!
67 Responses
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
1 Comments
Very happy for your cancer free! I had a rib graft done. Now Im missing the portion of my 5th and 6th ribs next to my sternum. I have a great deal of nerve pain and rib pain. Where did you get your surgery done for the gore-tex?  Do you have the name of the doctor?
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
Apologies, it was 10"x8" before the chemotherapy, 6"x4" after chemo when i was ready for surgery.
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
  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 ***@****
Avatar universal
  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
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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
1 Comments
I had , had some back/ rib area pain for almost a yr.  I thought it was pulled muscles from so much pickleball tournaments.  I had an X-ray which confirmed  chondrosarcoma between 8th and 9th rib.  On March 15 I had ribs 7-10 removed.  I was in ICU for 4 days and in a regular room for 4 days then discharged 3 days earlier than expected.  I'm up,walking, doing PT. I hope to be back on the pickleball courts by a tournament in July.  A lot of pain, but after 4 weeks I tried to tough it out and get off meds,  but I had to go back on my meds.  I'm very athletic and hope to recovery sooner than expected.
Avatar universal
Hi I have my rib out on the 31st so I will do a weekly update were possible
Avatar universal
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....
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
I had three ribs removed because of a bone tumor. Very painful.
Avatar universal
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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