Floating rib pain with lump on top of rib.

I have a lump on my lowest rib on the right side, close to my spine. Pain started about 4 months ago, and it was very sore to even touch it. It hurts a bit to turn to the right, and also with deep breathing. I have had a CT scan, and xrays with nothing showing up.

For a few months it felt like my lower rib was pushed in more on the right side that the left; it feels like it's in place a little more now.

Also one night I took a really deep breath, and maybe it was a tendon (I don't know), but it moved somehow over the rib, and I came out of the bed like FAST. It was horrible pain.

The lump is worrying me. Have you ever seen a bony protrusion over a rib, and if so what could it be?

I'm taking Naproxen now, and it's not quite as sore. The pain goes the entire length of my bottom right rib. When I push on my side it hurts, and when I push on the rib itself there is also soreness. It doesn't "hurt" at night; this is only soreness with maybe a few pains during the day that don't last. The lump is not what I would call extremely painful; maybe from me pushing on it, it gets sore. Also, it feels squishy around over the lump. (hate the word squishy, but that's how it feels). :)

The CT scan being normal made me feel better, as did the xray of my lower ribs. But, there is still this soreness, and the lump and it's driving me nuts. I can't stop touching it, which may be aggravating it. I'm scheduled for an appt. with a chiropractor next Wed. I just wanted to ask if you have ever seen this sort of thing, and/or heard of this before. I know the "floating ribs" can be injured, and can go out of place, right?

This message might seem all over the place, and for that I'm sorry. I'm just at my wits end with this rib thing!
Thanks for your time.

Hello Phyllis,
Apologies for this late reply; I've been on leave with a huge backlog of letters. I expect you've seen your chiropractor now.

The fact that the xray and CT scan shows nothing, and feels squishy, suggests that the lump is not of bone. I could well be a lipoma or something else; and may be an 'incidental' finding; true but of no significance.

The deep breath pain is strongly suggestive of a rib subluxation where the rib meets the spine; usually something easily treated but like any chronic condition is likely now to be problematic.

The area you describe is also close to the gallbladder and liver; I take they've been examined.

The T12-L1 area is also an area prone to injury if you've fallen on your buttocks, so it could be in the spine itself. I'm sure they would have been covered by the scan, so I'm sure there's no fracture, but still it's a problematic area due to being a 'transitional' area; where the lumbar and thoracic spine meet.

If you go to chiropractic help and type Maignes syndrome exercises into the search function you'll find some movements you can do for the area.

I'm intrigued to hear what your chiropractor found; let me know. I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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Aug 12, 2016
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Chronic rib pain
by: Phyllis

Chronic rib pain is definitely treatable.

I will definitely let you know what the chiropractor says. We are having much rain here, and flooding in areas, so I could not make my appt. I will indeed let you know what the findings are. I am now feeling pain more on the tip of that floating rib, with pain when I push on my side. The lump is not very painful at all. I did have a car accident a few yrs. ago, and also last year a "really" bad case of bronchitis. I coughed a LOT. The CT scan did indeed show that my liver was fine, and I have no gb. It was removed in 2007. However they did cut the bile duct by mistake, and I had a stent put in with removal three months later.
I so want this chronic pain to end, and I will be in touch again soon...as I have got to see someone about this.
I'll update this just as soon as I see someone.
Thank you so much for your response. It helps to know someone is following your story. All pain is bad, but chronic pain is something new to me, and I'm not giving up on answers,


That's the determination I like to see, Phyllis. This too will pass; coughing or a big sneeze is the usual cause of a subluxated rib. If that's the cause of your pain, you'll get over this.

Dr B

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