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Should I go to the Doctor if I think I have cracked ribs?

By October 23, 2017 - 11:07am
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I have a mechanical heart valve. Two days ago a friend gave me a hug good bye, but it was more like a bear hug. While squeezing me I hear, what I can only explain as, a deck of cards being shuffled. He also hear it and said "hey I popped your back." I said no it's in the front directly behind my breast. I thought that I might have tore a muscle. But it hurts to cough and take deep breaths. I hurts to lift things and feels better when I lay on my chest. I'm just wondering if it is cracked ribs(s) is there really anything that could be done? Do I need to see a Dr.?

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Chris Moncrief

Thank you for writing.

Your friend may want to ease up on his "bear hugs"!

A rib fracture is a break in a rib bone. Bruised muscles and ligaments often happen with a rib fracture. More seriously, the lungs and other organs can be injured. More than one rib fracture after a trauma can indicate serious internal injury.

Please do contact your doctor if you have concerns - or at least put a phone call in.

In general, for cracked/fractured ribs - treatment can include:

Rest and do not do physical activity until the pain has gone away.

Your doctor may suggest wearing a chest binder around your ribs to protect them. The binder will also help you breathe properly. It is very important to take some good breaths so that the lungs remain clear. Pneumonia can develop after rib fractures if you are not breathing deeply enough. If you play contact sports, you may need to wear a rib cage protector for 6-8 weeks when you return to playing.

Your doctor may recommend that you take one of the following drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain:

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Physical Therapy
As your ribs heal, a physical therapist can teach you breathing exercises. She can also help you maintain range of motion in arm and shoulder joints.

October 23, 2017 - 1:18pm
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