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Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

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Old 01-13-2005, 09:27 AM   #1
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malibubarbie999 HB User
Unhappy Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Wondering if anyone's experienced anything like this. I'll give you a quick background...

I'm a 21/f hit by impaired driver last spring. Was hospitalized 1 week for serious injuries including: broken ankle, broken tibia (shin bone), broken femur (thigh bone), shifted pelvis, torn knee ligaments, severed femoral artery (main artery that carries blood from heart), massive internal bleeding, among other things.

Since the accident I have experienced pain in chest. When standing up from a sitting/lying position I can feel a popping sensation in my chest along w/ a loud crack. After months of being told it was probably nothing, I saw a new doctor yesterday that informed me that my ribs had been dislocated from the accident. This apparently had gone unnoticed by the hospital who was more concerned w/ my more serious injuries.

I have been told that nothing can be done about this. It is very annoying and uncomfortable though. Every time I stand up I can anticipate that popping sensation & it drives me nuts! It's also painful. Has anyone experienced anything like this or know anyone who has dislocated their ribs? What did you/they do?

Please help!

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Old 01-19-2005, 06:32 AM   #2
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hrtofluv HB User
Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Don't know if this will help you, but at least it's something. Found this same question on another board and the answers were:
1.Go see a physiologist...they can manipulate them back into place. I'm currently in Physio for a bunch of things including 5 disloacted ribs...
2.Go see a chiropractor for manipulation.
Hope this gives you some insight as to where to go next.

Old 01-19-2005, 08:04 PM   #3
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malibubarbie999 HB User
Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Thanks so much for the tip! I'm willing to try anything, I'm in so much discomfort. My doctor just kind of brushed it off, saying a lot of people get around fine with messed up ribs. Being only 21, that's not acceptable to me. I can't imagine going through the rest of my life like this!

I will look into seeing a physiologist. Is the manipulation very painful? I'd imagine it would be, but I guess it's worth it if they can fix me. Thanks again

Old 02-27-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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CrohnieToo HB User
Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

I experienced something similar. Tho not caused by such drastic injuries as yours!!!! Years ago I was just moving a small chest when hit with excruciating pain. Our family doctor was an osteopath at the time (wonderful doctor who has since died). I went in to see him and one manipulation and the pain was GONE! Instantaneously! I walked to my car, got in, turned around to view out the back window before backing the car and ZAP! there was that pain again. I trotted back into his office, climbed up on the table, he did another manipulation and voila! the pain was instantanesouly gone. And stayed away for 20-30 years.

Until I was rear-ended at a traffic light in early 1994. I was looking right when hit and suffered a whiplash. Gradually, as the neck and forehead symptoms subsided I encountered more and more pain in that left chest area again. Family doctor (new one, an MD) sent me to ER three times for heart attack evaluation. The last time I just took it upon myself to make an appointment with a non-invasive cardiologist and he was the one who suggested that my problem was likely a chest muscle since all my EKGs, stress tests, etc. had been normal. That brought the lighbulb on to my experience years previous!

Long story shortened: mis-diagnosis of fibromyalgia, Dx of myofascial pain syndrome; several chiropractic manipulations to bring the pain down to a low roar, gentle stretching exercises learned in physical therapy (done faithfully 2 x daily) and retiring from my job which required extensive use of my arms (especially the right arm) 8-10 hours a day to a less demanding use of my arms and I was "cured". I haven't encountered the problem since.

I have found tho that it isn't wise for me to spend too much time using my arms above shoulder height. If I do I get a gentle reminder in the left chest area and I immediately stop plus start doing the stretches I learned in PT for a couple of weeks.

Old 03-04-2005, 12:22 PM   #5
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malibubarbie999 HB User
Arrow Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Crohnie --

Thanks for the response. I am happy to hear that manipulation worked out for you. I had a manipulation done at a pain management clinic about a month ago and it seemed to do the trick. I no longer have that annoying popping sensation in my chest. I do still, however, get pain in my chest, but my doctors feel it's probably muscule-related. At first I was scared I was having heart problems or something, but was relieved to hear that is probably not the case. At 21 years old and being as small as I am, they don't feel I'm necessarily in the high-risk catergory for cardiac disease...

I'm currently weaning off narcotic pain medications and switching to muscle relaxers, which seem to help but make me pretty groggy. Were you taking anything for pain, or did PT do the trick? If so, which meds worked best for you?

I'm starting PT again next week for my back (for problems associated with the accident). I'm hoping that'll help with the rib/chest pain as well.

Old 03-14-2005, 09:16 AM   #6
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hrtofluv HB User
Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Just checking in and read your update.
So glad to hear the manipulation worked for you!
I am also suffering from a lower back disc herniation from an auto accident 1.5 years ago. Facet Joint injections worked for about 6 months - considering having it again cause the old pains are back.
Best of luck with your PT!

Old 04-06-2005, 04:52 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2005
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hevver HB User
Unhappy Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

Here's my experience so far:

Since Sept 04 I've had a "lump" on my left lower rib area. For months I went through all the tests to figure out things.... no luck.

They settled on "chostochondritis" but were at a loss for how I could have gotten it (not that there's a real cause). They gave me steroid shots, etc. I was not getting better. The lump was not going away even with heat/ice/meds.

Finally switched DRs and found that I have 4 ribs dislocated. Still not sure on the cause. Going through OMT to get it put back in place, but apparently I'm a "challenge" because they can't figure out how to put them back in place.

I found that muscle relaxers at night are not that helpful because after a nice sleep, I wake up and go to work (telephone sales) and come home and my muscles are just as tense as the day before. It's almost like you work against yourself when you take muscle relaxers.

So now I'm awaiting more OMT treatments and meanwhile I'm suffering through constant pain in the chest area. It's no fun.

Old 01-09-2008, 04:08 PM   #8
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popDatchest HB User
Red face Re: Dislocated Ribs -- What Now?

i'm 21/m, and i've had the same problem for about 8 months now.i havent had any accidents or any reason i can think of to cause left shoulder starting hurting for about a month,felling like it was hanging low,and out of i could actually force my arm upwards and it would pop into place and bring me brief comfort.i think the poping of my shoulder is what lead to my chest pain.although my shoulder still pops whenever i want it to,it is no longer painfull or chest is now the problem.

it is exactly as described by malibubarbie,except almost any upper body movement cause the pops.if i stand from sitting tho,its the loudest and most painful. if i stretch,reach for things on shelves,look behind me,or sometimes even breathe deep enough,the popping is inevadable.

it started in the left side of my chest,and i found out while stretching one day before work and as i leaned to the left,it popped.after afew days of not knowing what caused it,it happened i went to the doctor just to get the same response as malibu.i was told "its nothing big,just muscle discomfort and alot of people have it.

im to young for this and i feel more limited than anyone i have ever met.
i cant live life like this and im not realy trying to.
i thought i might be waisting my time trying to find someone with this problem,and i was relieved to find this page.
im happy to know im not the only one,but i hate thinking that someone else out there has to do what i do.
i dont know how it was for malibu,but for me its everyday,every movement,every part of daily life thats normal and easy for most people is a living hell for me.

i havent been to a doctor in months because of the stupidity i keep recieving.
but i cant take it anymore.i need to be fixed or put down man.

my question is did anything ever work?
who should i see?
is there anyone that i shouldnt see for this?

i hope your doing better and im sorry you have to go through this.

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