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Bruised / cracked ribs - anyone been here before?

wrxwrx Posts: 27
edited October 2009 in Health, fitness & training
I had an epic fall on September 26th, at speed. Apart from shins being torn up by my DMR pedals I really slammed into a tree hard.

Ribs bad - a couple of days after I couldn't lay on my back or sleep on one side. Now a week and a bit has passed starting to feel better but still quite sore.

Have any of you guys suffered this? What was your experience? How long did it take to heal? Doc said anything from 4 - 6 weeks for full recovery and take it easy.

I have been on some "gentle" rides (20 miles at an easy pace through woods) but I'm not sure that was a good idea.

Tried to do my usual swim before work, I was doing 60 lengths in an hour before the fall, yesterday I couldn't even do one!

Thing is I have next week off and want to get out while I can but not sure if its a good idea to do so.

Anyone had anything similar?

Tell you what though, sneezing is a killer!

Posts

  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    taking it easy probably means do not ride your bike, or swim etc...

    ...you could be prolonging the recovery time by doing so
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    when i cracked two ribs, basically 6 weeks of doing nothing.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    Tis normal when you damage the intercostal muscles, can last anything up to 8 weeks before things fully heal, depending on how bad the damage. Mine was 7 weeks and the first 2 I was bed ridden pumped full of pain killers, grabbing sleep as and when my body and mind couldn't handle not having any any more. Not something you want to put yourself through on a regular basis that's for sure.

    Sneezing or laughing is a real killer, you is right. :lol:

    Sounds like you have a mild dose. ;)
  • wrxwrx Posts: 27
    Ok - looks like I am destined for low energy DIY next week then! Oh, and posting on here!

    Bummer, the whole week off work, great tracks on my doorstep.

    Confidence has certainly taken a knock too. Dying to get out there again and quash the demons, I know deep down its gonna take a while. :(

    Thanks for the replies.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    wrx wrote:
    Confidence has certainly taken a knock too. Dying to get out there again and quash the demons, I know deep down its gonna take a while. :(

    Important you do go back to the crime scene as soon as you are physically able to and assess what went wrong and rectify it by doing it again - slowly first.
  • wrxwrx Posts: 27

    Sounds like you have a mild dose. ;)

    Just seen that! Mild !??!

    Yesh, its one of the most painful things ever! The Sunday night after I couldn't sleep at all. Just laying down hurt so much. I wanted to sleep standing up! :lol:
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    wrx wrote:

    Sounds like you have a mild dose. ;)

    Just seen that! Mild !??!

    yeh, if you'd have done it properly there isn't a hoping hell you'd be doing anything at all for the first 2 - 3 weeks apart from struggle with the eat, sleep basics.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here

    Sneezing or laughing is a real killer,

    as is doing a bit of nudge nudge wink wink. :wink:
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • I've got two cracked ribs as we speak and coughing, laughing and sneezing was really bad for the first two weeks. I'm three weeks in and went for a few tentative rides in the last few days seems much improved.

    Didn't realise I'd cracked them until the end of the mornings session so I'd got back on straight away and did the same jump again several times (that was on reflection not a great idea). Accidents happen to the very best riders (which I'm not) I think you just have to accept it.
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  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    nicklouse wrote:

    Sneezing or laughing is a real killer,

    as is doing a bit of nudge nudge wink wink. :wink:

    :shock: now I know one thing about that period of time and that was totally and utterly out of the question. :lol:
  • wrxwrx Posts: 27
    yeh, if you'd have done it properly there isn't a hoping hell you'd be doing anything at all for the first 2 - 3 weeks apart from struggle with the eat, sleep basics.

    I'm counting my blessings after reading that!

    Fair play. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but am now a little happier that it could have been a lot worse judging from your experience.
  • wrxwrx Posts: 27
    Didn't realise I'd cracked them until the end of the mornings session so I'd got back on straight away and did the same jump again several times (that was on reflection not a great idea). Accidents happen to the very best riders (which I'm not) I think you just have to accept it.

    I know what you mean, I did complete the ride and did another 20 miles the next day. The pain didn't really kick in until a couple of days after.

    And I was doing so well too!

    Funny thing though, just the day before I read someones tag line on here that said "Its not if I fall off, its when!".

    So true - I started mountain biking in June this year, 260 odd miles later the inevitable happens. Gotta take the bad with the good I guess.

    I haven't fallen of a bike / gone over the handlebars since I was 10 years old!
  • wrxwrx Posts: 27

    Important you do go back to the crime scene as soon as you are physically able to and assess what went wrong and rectify it by doing it again - slowly first.

    I did the same route the very next day (albeit slower), passed the dreaded tree again already.

    I know what went wrong, I've been thinking it over a million times. I was leaning forward too much, I wasn't concentrating as I usually do, I got complacent.

    I've done that track a hundred times before, this time saddle too high, leaning forward too much, had just pumped the tyres so the bike bounced more than usual.

    Its a very good point to assess why it happened, I learned a lot from the fall, a painful lesson indeed!
  • turpinrturpinr Posts: 255
    breaking 2 ribs and cracking 4 was the most pain i've ever been in.rest,its all you can do.
    i also had a broken ankle and collar-bone but the ribs hurt the most.
    sniff,breathe,oooouuuuugggggghhhhhh
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Recovery is intensely personal, i'd strongly advise completely avoiding risking hurting yourself further.

    Last year my ex cracked a rib doing powercleans in the gym, then on the way cycling home after the session she had a clipless moment and that kinda polished off her season. It was 4-5months before she started competeing and training again, althoguh she also suffered from some back issues.

    The other day it was hurting, it's something that you end up always keeping an eye on.
  • bigmartbigmart Posts: 87
    did mine on a motorbike accident last year, bruised chest wall fornt side and back.
    I couldn't sleep, caugh, sneeze for first 2 weeks, couldn't even lay on sofa, was only really comfotauble sitting on a dinning chair.
    I couldn't drive either, even after 3 weeks when I went back to work 1st few days wiped me out

    took me about 10 weeks before i was up to anything strenuous, by then what little fitness I had was gone

    All you can do is rest
  • XxxBFGxxXXxxBFGxxX Posts: 1,355
    pretty sure i have done one of mine.

    was riding pushing mpore and more did one jump then tryed missing the next one back will clipped it pushing it over my head. landed bars first into my gut and elbow up into my rib cage winded my self. didnt hurt at firsat then got sorse hurt to breath. hurts to lay on my back can lay on my side but if i move it hurts like hell. been 4 weeks now and still hurts to cough sneeze. ( i have a cold now so it dont help). there is no brusiing at all in my rib area just were the bars hit. been full of pain killers ever since doing it.

    does it sound like i have bust one.

    and does this now make me a proper mountain biker.

    and yes i have M.T.F.U'ed as i am still out ridng even tho it hurts like hell
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    You'd instinctively know if you'd bust one, you'd feel the need to get x-rayed and you'd know something wasn't right. Weirdly though it's the extent and depth of the bruising to the Intercostal muscles that determines stuff like "how long" "pain level" it all varies on the fall / smash but the general overall time span for healing up is the same.
  • XxxBFGxxXXxxBFGxxX Posts: 1,355
    after 4 weeks mate i am feeling theneed to get it looked at coz it dont feel right. but i know there ainjt alot they can do for them so i wont bother lol. just pain killers for now lol
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    Never took a pain killer before in my life but I lived off them for the first 3 weeks when I came off. The only reason I stopped was because I was getting immune and I found a comfortable enough position to get some sleep that counted.
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    2 years ago I spent all of a Sunday morning doing the Chopwell Woods red run with no problem. I decided to "warm down" but ended being to too tired to bunny hop a large log and banged into it and over the handle bars -> cracked 3 ribs.

    I drove the car to work on the Monday and Tuesday, but got fed up in the traffic jams and biked after that. The following Sunday me and a friend climbed Sharp Edge in the Lake District.

    At no time did anyone realise I couldn't lift my arms higher then nipple height without cry with pain!
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  • bigmartbigmart Posts: 87
    still should get it checked, if its broken or has any splinters that could do you some damage they would do something, or if its just broken then it just has to heal

    I had no bruises on the outside either , all internal

    Had mine checked on a full body catscan, was interesting once I knew I still had a spleen!
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    bigmart wrote:
    did mine on a motorbike accident last year, bruised chest wall fornt side and back.

    Been there, done that. The x-ray quack confirmed 4 broken ribs.

    Me: So what do I do then?

    Doc: Don't laugh.

    Shares in Pfizer went up for about 6 weeks.

    That said, if you can get an old witch (like my mum) to make you up a comfrey dressing it works miracles. You'll need to find your local toothless crone/tree-hugging hippy/herbalist to give you a hand though. Comfrey isn't called "Knit-Bone" for a laugh...
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