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Rib injury - do I need to get it checked out

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Jul 2013
10:58am, 28 Jul 2013
174 posts
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I came off my mountain bike yesterday whilst riding some singletrack. I fell heavily on my side and hurt my ribs. As you would expect, it's very painful. Now, my understanding is that if I've bruised or cracked a rib or ribs then there is nothing you can do apart from let it heal. I look a little swollen on that side, but honestly couldn't tell if that's 'normal' lopsided-ness. My question is should I bother getting it checked out by a doctor?
Jul 2013
11:12am, 28 Jul 2013
7196 posts
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I'm sure the right answer is yes.

If it were me I wouldn't bother :)
I'd probably give it a few days and see if it starts to feel better on its own.
Jul 2013
11:40am, 28 Jul 2013
15831 posts
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I know nothing about these things. I guess the sensible answer is yes get it checked out. Like OB I'd probably leave it a couple of days. I'm sure one of the doctorly types will be along shortly.
Jul 2013
11:41am, 28 Jul 2013
12555 posts
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I have cracked my ribs twice in the last year (and once several years ago). All 3 times I let them heal on their own.
Hurt like hell to laugh, sneeze, cough and run though.
Didn't stop me doing any of those things, mind you.

That said, I wouldn't necessarily say my way would be the right or, indeed, sensible way to approach it. It rarely is.

Maybe a doctoring type will be along soon with more helpful advice :-)
Jul 2013
11:51am, 28 Jul 2013
7271 posts
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Son of a Pronator Man
I thiink it would be a very foolish person who would say not to get it checked out. No harm done if it turns out to be just nasty bruising. But as you know, there may not be much that can be done except to let it heal in its own time
Jul 2013
1:07pm, 28 Jul 2013
2422 posts
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Although the medics can't do anything for cracked ribs, always a good idea to get them checked, if only to ensure there's nothing else damaged. The docs will tell you to take panadol & neurofen for the pain.
Jul 2013
1:27pm, 28 Jul 2013
2889 posts
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I broke a couple of ribs the year before last and went along to the hospital to get it checked out because I was flying the next day and due to be running a marathon a few days after that and needed to know if there was any medical reason not to do either of these.
One possible complication they told me about which I hadn't thought of is a pneumothorax - air between the lung and the chest wall.

Unless a doctor type says otherwise, I would have thought getting it checked out would be better. They can't do anything to fix bruised or broken ribs, so you're still going to be hurting, but they can fix some of the possible complications.
Jul 2013
11:06pm, 28 Jul 2013
175 posts
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Thanks all - I'll see how I am tomorrow. It' s been very painful today, but no other symptoms. OH cooked ribs tonight too...They were very tender :-)

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Maintained by MH
I came off my mountain bike yesterday whilst riding some singletrack. I fell heavily on my side and ...

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