Rib subluxation or contusion

Rib subluxation or contusion as diagnosis from doctors

The incident in question occurred early in the morning November 28, 2013, and it is now the 31st of December. It is kind of an embarrassing situation, and believe me, it will not happen again. It was very stupid on my part to have let it happen to begin with, but I will not lie to you as far as what happened. All I'm gonna say is that I took a direct blow to the chest from a heavyset man laying against me. (We weren't doing what you might think, but he was kissing me.) It just sort of happened out of the blue, but I will regret it forever; I felt a "pop" on the left side of my ribcage in the front, which I found out to be mostly cartilage.

I could see a visual difference as far as a protrusion on the left side of my ribcage compared to the right, no visible bruises though. What happened was that within a few hours after this occurred, I became very nauseous and sick and finally decided to go to the emergency room. They gave me a shot for nausea and a shot for rib pain, which helped for the moment.

After having xrays done, they told me there were thankfully no breaks or fractures. Also, I was told you can't visually see anything out of the ordinary on the xrays; that everything looked normal. So why is there a very visible protrusion from my chest, and if I could see it right away after this happened, could inflammation occurred that quickly? Or what else could be going on? I understand that rib injuries take time to heal. It's just I want to understand thoroughly exactly what I'm in for. I did go to a chiropractor where he didn't do a whole lot for me, saying that with bone and cartilage joints, it just takes time to heal. He also told me that everything was where it was supposed to be. It's been over a month since it happened now, and the visible protrusion looks exactly the same as it did when it happened. At the moment I do not have a job, so I've been able to take it as easy as possible with plenty of rest, etc.

I'm also starting to cold compress the area for 20 minutes 3 times a day, taking painkillers twice a day. But what if this doesn't clear it up? Will I have that for the rest of my life? I'm so worried right now about this that I'm literally sick to my stomach. I just wish I knew where to go get real answers. I want to see for myself on xrays what the issue is, but if I can't see anything, does it mean it's the inflammation only and that it will heal, or not?

Throughout the past month, I've had episodes where it's been difficult to breathe, shooting pain in the rib area, and muscle aches, etc. In the beginning I had trouble sleeping, finding a good position to sleep in, I usually sit upright because I'd find it harder to breathe lying flat. I suffer less when I'm up and moving around as to being stationary and resting for long periods of time. I was prescribed to take pills, so I've taken a large amount of pills, which some have made me very, very sick. At the moment I'm taking 2 ibuprofen each day. I guess the main question I have is that if I keep icing the wounded area and taking painkillers will this protrusion heal and the swelling go away in time? I think it's the not knowing that is worrying me. If I knew kind of a time frame, I may be able to put my mind at rest. If this stays like it is, would surgery be something I should consider to fix the issue? I don't even want to consider that, but. Please, please help me and advise me on what to do to get this cleared up. I will do whatever it takes. Thank you for your help and anything else that you can recommend.

Indeed a very unfortunate incident. I take you were either squeezed very hard, or punched or assaulted in some way. If so, you should lay charges. It's the only way men learn.

You have almost certainly had a cracked rib or rib cartilage. Perhaps actually fractured, difficult to see on plain xray. A ct scan or bone scan would show it up.

Seeing that there's a visible change in the contour of the rib, I'd assume it was fractured, so manipulation of any sort before the end of January would be unwise. An activator treatment might be okay.

And then, very important, an anterior to posterior chiropractic adjustment should only be done very gently. It could well worsen the costo chondral joint injury. Hyperextension adjustments are safer.

How well will it heal? It's impossible to be sure, but you can expect to be sore for at least six weeks. If there was any injury to the joints between the rib in question and the spine, it must be adjusted, just not until the bone has headed.

What will help is lying on the side, painful side up. Ask someone to massage gently between the ribs, right from the spine to the breastbone.

Go on with the ice, but limit anti inflammatories; they actually inhibit healing.

Of concern is whether this turns into a Tietze's syndrome. Use the search this site at chiropractic help to find it.

Let us know in a month or two how you are getting on.

Dr b

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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