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Cracked/Bruised Rib; How long?

SteveCwmbSteveCwmb Posts: 133
edited April 2008 in Health, fitness & training
For a change[:I], this isn't me, my wife fell over yesterday (no alcohol involved) and caught her side. The hospital says "cracked or bruised ribs"

and I ask you.. how long to heal or to feel better (alternatively babysitters for our two lunatics needed so I can get out on the bike!)
Thanks
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  • Doc Steve who comes on here recommends lots of painkillers and getting on with it! Carefully... When I bust mine (incidentally was on the piss, and fell over trying to kick a bottle of sprite) it took a couple of weeks until the pain subsided enough. It was hard just getting out of bed!

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  • SteveLandSteveLand Posts: 896
    I usually tell people that it will be sore for about two weeks if it is just bruised, and four to six weeks if they are broken.<b> You will not do yourself any more damage using them it will just be sore.</b> Loads of painkillers and just get on with it....

    Having broken ribs myself I know how painful it is, but riding is more fun than sitting about.



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  • StefanHStefanH Posts: 228
    Since I did the same thing last last Thursday, I can safely say that if it's just bruising to the rib it <i>still blummin hurts like heck</i> a week and a bit later. Put me off the bike for the first 7 days but other than that I've been able to do most stuff. Sleeping comfortably has <i>not</i> been entirely possible though [:(]

    I took pain killers the day I had the injury and I took a couple on the following day.

    Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. I would rather the odd twinge or two which lets me know I shouldn't bend/stretch in that particular direction, than have my injury take longer to heal. Painkillers are also not so nice to your kidneys, liver or stomach. The fewer taken, the better.
  • DeswmbDeswmb Posts: 574
    I prefer to avoid painkillers too unless I absolutely need them to get to sleep.

    But I would highly recommend Glucosamine Sulphate and Calcium supplements to speed recovery.

    Also she really ought to force herself to keep taking very deep breaths (even though it will really hurt as they start to mend) to avoid a lung infection.

    Des
  • SteveLandSteveLand Posts: 896
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Doesn't mean you have to put up with it though. And as before, it will do you no further harm using it. This is why we invented painkillers, to stop pain. I have never understood this whole 'I don't like aking painkillers' thing. If you had asthma you'd take the inhalers? so why the big deal with painkillers.....

    Trust me, I'm a doctor!

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  • KobieKobie Posts: 19
    I did it to myself a few months back - hurt A LOT doing anything for the first 2 weeks, but after about 6 weeks I couldn't really feel any discomfort.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Suffering from this now after a recent car crash - hurts like hell. I'm on Iboprofen - works a treat. The pain is steady now but three days after the crash it was extemely painful. My doc says 4 weeks or more to heal.

    I do want to get back on my bike - should I risk Mountain Biking (and associated falls) or stick to the road?
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • I cracked or bruised a rib while on holiday playing football. For the first 3 days or so I could hardly walk or even move around. So I just gave it total rest for about 2 weeks then decided to ride around Afan. Sadly I crashed pretty badly and landed on my rib! Was lying on the side of the trail gasping for breath for a few minutes then took short cut back to centre. So now a week later the pain is reducing a bit but is worst in the morning. If I was you I wouldn't ride on the mtb as you could easily do yourself more damage - when the ribs healing I think it is more fragile. If you have a road bike tho that should be ok to do if you're ffeeling ok to breath deeply
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Sound like good advice - road bike it is. Cheers.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • impishedimpished Posts: 1,092
    I did the old "laying on the trail gasping for breath/short-cut back to centre" thing about 5 years ago! Still get the occasional ache from the rib in question!!! :shock:

    I second all the above advice, but remember, it doesn't matter what you do about bruised/cracked ribs they WILL hurt. :cry: And even years later they can still remind you that they're there. :wink: So you might as well just say "sod it" and get back out there! :P
    If you fall again, make sure it's the other side, then the pain'll fell nicely balanced :wink:
  • BigRedRBigRedR Posts: 51
    I fell off yesterday and landed flat on my bike knocking the wind right out of me!! My back is still fecking sore, although to prod it etc its fine so i dont think ive cracked anything. It just feels muscular, as if im still a little bit winded.

    Still not 100% sure what my injury is - hope to hell its not serious like what you are referring to! :shock: Im hoping its just an internal bruise or something. If i breath in deeply it feels uncomfortable with minimal pain.

    The worst pain is when i sit up using my stomach / back muscles, which suggests to me that its just muscular.

    The worst thing about it though, is i have no idea how it happened. I was doing the freeride section up at the Carron Valley Forrest and was pedalling along a straight section between bends when all of a sudden i was flying over the handlebars. What a fright, and again i was lying at the side gasping for breath with that shocked feeling. Not nice.........
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Fractured a rib myself last week (went over the bars but also managed to land on the bars...). Didn't really feel it at the time (just winded me and a bit of tightening in my chest) but it got worse over the next couple of days. I went to hospital in the end as I wanted to know if it was just bruised (in which case I figured I could carry on riding without making it worse) or cracked (in which case I figured I better stop riding for a bit in case it made it worse).

    Turns out I did have a fracture but the doctor was more concerned with checking for fluid build-up which is the dangerous part so I'd say it's worth getting it check out if it's still bad after a few days (or if you start coughing up blood...). They can't really do anything to treat cracked ribs though so I just got given some anti-imflammatory pills (although the doctor did say they don't do much for rib injuries) and some codeine based pain killers. Planning to stay off the bike for a week or so just to give it a chance to heal properly.
  • Went over the bars myself yesterday so am also now familiar with that "lying at the side gasping for breath with that shocked feeling" feeling. After 10 mins I decided I could stand up and just about breath OK. Bruised ribs and a fractured clavicle. The ribs hurt more at the moment but fracture manipulation / reduction tomorrow :( ...
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  • Steve PSteve P Posts: 15
    Thanks for the advice but that's a little impractical for exeryday xc riding. It would certainly make me stand out on the trails.

    25 days on and the collar bone is now one piece again. It started to knit together after 6 days (crepitus stopped) and has some solidity now. Sling no longer required. Doctors seem happy though my 'new' shoulder won't be winning any beauty contests. Seems to get a little bit better each day but some movements still painful. Can't push with the arm. Hope to start riding again just on road in a week or 2 but see how it goes...
  • hi i got shoved into a scaffolding pole at a football match and my ribs have been hurting since saturday now. at first it was a winded feeling but now it is a bruised feel at the bottom of the right bottom rib and hurts when im thinking about it (lol) and when i am moving sudden. they definatly dont feel broken, just heavily bruised but i am no expert. i am on painkillers and havent visited the doctor yet as i have had no time. they dont hurt when my mind is on something else which suggests it is not serious injury. i can breathe without pain and am able to run around. i guess that rest is the best possible treatment. if i were to get an xray can i get it at the docs or do i have to go to the hospital. thanks in advance, Kevin.
  • hi i got shoved into a scaffolding pole at a football match and my ribs have been hurting since saturday now. at first it was a winded feeling but now it is a bruised feel at the bottom of the right bottom rib and hurts when im thinking about it (lol) and when i am moving sudden. they definatly dont feel broken, just heavily bruised but i am no expert. i am on painkillers and havent visited the doctor yet as i have had no time. they dont hurt when my mind is on something else which suggests it is not serious injury. i can breathe without pain and am able to run around. i guess that rest is the best possible treatment. if i were to get an xray can i get it at the docs or do i have to go to the hospital. thanks in advance, Kevin.
  • LunaeventerLunaeventer Posts: 420
    They are very unlikely to do an x-ray - even if there is a break they will just give you painkillers & tell you to keep it till it gets better........ !
  • Steve PSteve P Posts: 15
    You would have to go to A&E for the X-ray. Doctors surgeries aren't usually set up with X-Ray machines & radiographers. If breathing really deeply, yawning or (especially) sneezing don't hurt at all then you're probably OK.

    If they X-Ray they are not just looking for cracks/fractures. These they usually don't treat anyway except for advising Ibuprofen or other pain killers and rest. They would also be looking for stuff like collapsed (or partially collapsed) lungs which you may not be aware of and fluid build up.

    If it starts to get worse at all then go straight to A&E. You'll be seen faster than at your GP (faster than at mine anyway). With bone fractures my fracture clinic advised Ibuprofen for the first few days then co-codamols. They said that there is some research to suggest prolonged use of ibuprofen can hinder bone repair. Good Luck.
  • hasnt got worse. i put a cold beer can on the area for half hour last nite fell much better hasnt hurt much today but can still feel it in the background. i have no college until monday now so will try to rest as much as possible. is there a certain position that i should sit in whilst on comp etc?
  • breathing deeply, yawning and sneezing are all fine. i think i did worsen it a bit though when i cheered FOUR times whe liverpool scored :lol:
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    It will hurt for about a month.
    Just don't breathe, laugh, cough or sneeze.

    Bust mine surfing, and another time in a kickboxing comp - not fun.
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  • ok i will try not to breathe :D
  • MatteeboyMatteeboy Posts: 996
    It does get tricky after 10 minutes or so but stick with it and the pain will magically disappear :wink::lol:
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

    http://www.cornwallmtb.kk5.org
  • Hi Kevin

    I know about this one, having suffered cracked ribs due to careless accidents a couple of times.

    All the doctor will tell you is "there is no treatment take pain killers & rest"

    It will get better in a couple of weeks & the pain will completely disappear.
  • thanks everyone looks to be on the mend then
  • thanks everyone looks to be on the mend then
  • cains08cains08 Posts: 13
    Really good topic this. Especially as i bust mine for the second time at thai boxing last week, in exactly the same place!

    It hurts when I breathe deeply and last time it was at least 2 months before I could do any sort of training again. I'm using the time off to get my bikes working properly for the summer. :)

    Is Steve really a doctor?
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    They are very unlikely to do an x-ray - even if there is a break they will just give you painkillers & tell you to keep it till it gets better........ !

    xrays are usually a waste of resource for rib injuries, unless like someone else says there is some suspicion of fluid/collapse. Something to do with it 'not affecting the treatment'.

    I did mine just before christmas commuting to work, and like everyone else says it HURT (well it started to hurt about an hour after picking myself up from the car bonnet!)
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  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    I cracked a rib about 4 months ago and was told it would take 6 weeks to heal - which it did. It bloody hurt at the time (especially when coughing, sneezing, oh - and breathing :roll: ).

    I fell of my bike at Afan and landed on my side / shoulder - not a pretty sight!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

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