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Orthopedics Community
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17484539 tn?1580565249

Slippery Rib Syndrome from a fall?

Hello, I slipped on a wet floor and fell 9 days ago.  I fell on my left side, bruising the lowestt 3 or 4 ribs.  I went to a nearby walk in clinic for X-ray and exam. Fracture and lung involvement ruled out.  The pain during the day is improving and very tolerable but at night a different story.  After sleeping a couple of hours and trying to roll over, there is excruciating pain and a popping or clicking sound.  Especially when trying to roll over to the uninjured side. The pain while rolling is not near as intense if I haven't been sleeping, just resting for half an hour.At night  I have started sleeping near the edge of the bed because by holding my injured rib side tightly I can navigate turning and sliding to the floor, onceon the floor I use my leg strength to get up. This way  I can avoid much of the popping and thus the extreme pain. It's kind of weird though.  I tried to look up these symptoms and came up with slippery rib syndrome. There is a previous thread here but i t's more than 5 years old and deals more with individuals whose onset was NOT a fall or fracture.  If anyone has any helpful info to share it would be extremely appreciated. I am 75 and also have osteoporosis. Will this resolve itself, once the standard 4 to 6 week healing period is up? or something different? The bruised rib literature doesn't talk about this.Thanks in advance!
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Ugh, sounds like a bad fall!  My sister fell last year but went into the splits. We are not young and agile women anymore so she ripped her groin muscle. I thought we might need to amputate her leg she was in so much pain. I am just kidding on the amputation but in all seriousness, it was hard seeing her in that pain after a fall.  Life can change in an instant, can't it?  Okay, back to YOU.  So, your fall injured your torso.  My son's friend got hurt in a similar fashion playing soccer and it was determined he'd bruised his cartilage.  Probably very similar to you.  They iced it, he took ibuprofen and had to rest for recovery.  It took about 2 weeks.  

In looking at slippery rib syndrome, you do seem to have some of the symptoms!  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320417.php  The treatment for it is very similar to that of bruised cartilage of the ribs.  Ice it, take ibuprofen, gentle stretching, rest but also see a doctor for diagnosis and a physical therapist for help as well.  I've read that it often does get better but ugh, sometimes surgery is required.  But I would give it time as you are not even sure if this is the case for you. You could be like our friend and heal very nicely with some rest and time.  
1 Comments
The rib does seem to have healed, thanks for your kind comment.
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