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  1. #1
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    I think I broke my rib

    So I just got back from a week of riding in the Absoraka Beartooth Mountains right on the border of Wyoming and Montana! Unbelievable riding out there (will post pics tonight).

    Long story short I went OTB on one of the rides and took a handlebar to the ribcage. I dusted myself off let the air return to my lungs and rode to rest of the week no problems. The rib has felt bruised and have been able to deal with it until today.

    I am back to work (hence why I am back on MTBR) and was stretching here at my cube and heard a very loud pop! My cube neighbor even heard it. So I am not pretty convinced my rib is broken.

    Has anybody else here dealt with a broken rib? I have broken lots of bones but not a rib and have heard there is not much I can do. Should I go see a doctor? Can I continue to ride? I am planning on Kenosha to Breck this weekend and do not want to miss.

  2. #2
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    FYI, it's my experience that if you had broken or bruised a rib, you would have known it pretty much right away. You would have been in a lot of discomfort since your crash. Bruised ribs can hurt as much as broken ones.
    It's not commonly known that the heads of each rib [the ends] are not exactly cemented in place; they float, and they can pop out of place. I have had mine pop out, and had them popped back into place by a chiropractor. Given the right stretch, they will pop back into place on their own. It sounds like you just moved your rib head back into place.
    I would say, if the pain is at the same level tomorrow, then you might seek medical attention, but as you allready suggested, there is not much you can do if it's broken, or bruised, other than resting it. Sorry.
    Last edited by Renegade; 07-30-2007 at 11:10 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Bummer Jay! hope you don't miss your Kenosha ride, my stupid wrist continues to limit my riding but I'm hoping it heals up in the next few weeks.

  4. #4
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    I was with a guy who broke his rib a few weeks ago. It was diagnosed at the hospital, it was indeed a broken rib. It hurt when he laughed, ate, and breathed too deep even. But there's nothing to do, but wait for it to heal. The hospital gave him some pain killers, but they made him sick, so he was in a lot of pain.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  5. #5
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    I feel your pain. I took a handlebar to the ribs while still being clipped in at the Snowmass 4x and broke not one but 2 ribs. The broken one on the left was diagnosed at the hospital in aspen and then I kept having pain on my right side. I went to the Dr. here in Denver and sure enough, I have one broken on the right as well. There isn't really anything they can do to help. I hear that some times they will wrap it to try to help, but thats about it. Take it easy for a week or so and then try again. Sleeping comfortable, breathing, coughing and sneezing takes on a whole new challenge. Oh, and make sure you have some good pain meds when trying to sleep at night. Good luck and heal up quick.

  6. #6
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    For whats it worth unless you are having problems breathing and are getting super sharp pains ringing through your chest I doubt you broke a rib, but thats a guess. Breaks and contusions in the chest are very painful and take around 5-7 weeks to heal. I had a contusion of the sternum and it hurt like heck, breathing heavy or laughing was very painful. Certainly any bike riding or aerobic activity was out of the question.

    Give it a day or so and if it feels painful go to the doctor. There is not much they can do except tell you to rest and give you meds if you are lucky!

  7. #7
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    Cool,

    Thanks for the input fellas. I am going to judge this one by the pain. It may or may not be broken and so far the pain has been bearable. It does not hurt when I breath, laying on it or coughing does hurt but not that bad.

    The biggest thing is I want to continue to ride and have alredy been on some since the handlebar to the ribs. I may be overacting on this one but I freaked out this AM when I streached and heard the loud pop.

    Thanks for the support "I love you man"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpatterson6
    I feel your pain. I took a handlebar to the ribs while still being clipped in at the Snowmass 4x and broke not one but 2 ribs. The broken one on the left was diagnosed at the hospital in aspen and then I kept having pain on my right side. I went to the Dr. here in Denver and sure enough, I have one broken on the right as well. There isn't really anything they can do to help. I hear that some times they will wrap it to try to help, but thats about it. Take it easy for a week or so and then try again. Sleeping comfortable, breathing, coughing and sneezing takes on a whole new challenge. Oh, and make sure you have some good pain meds when trying to sleep at night. Good luck and heal up quick.
    Hey Billy, its Matt. How is that rib doing now? Can you ride at all yet?
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  9. #9
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    Jaydude, I would bet $$$ that you only had a rib-head out of place, and that you popped it back in place this morning. If you wake up feeling much better tomorrow, that's what it is. Which means you'll be back in the saddle VERY soon.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Hey Billy, its Matt. How is that rib doing now? Can you ride at all yet?
    Hey Matt!
    Ribs are getting better. tried to ride this weekend. Didnt go that well. gonna try it again this coming weekend. We'll see how it goes. I'm planning to goto Keystone or maybe Sol Vista this coming Sunday. I'll be taking it easy, but at least I'll be riding.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    Jaydude, I would bet $$$ that you only had a rib-head out of place, and that you popped it back in place this morning. If you wake up feeling much better tomorrow, that's what it is. Which means you'll be back in the saddle VERY soon.
    Sweet, I think you are right. I just never heard of a rib popping out of place. But they way the pop sounded it was almost like a joint popping into place. So far since the pop the pain has not increased or decreased. We will see in the morning.

  12. #12
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    Get well.

    You know, you wouldn't have had an injury had you had a Nomad!

  13. #13
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    Jdude glad you are feeling better. I had 2 ribs broken when I landed a jump wrong on skis. Didn't hurt that bad until I went biking a day or two later and then something just snapped. Xray said cracked on the two lower right backside ribs.

    It heals pretty fast...
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  14. #14
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    Time will heal it...

    Bummer. I feel with you.

    As long as it is not out of place there is absolutely nothing the medics will do. There is simply no way to cast it. They'll tell you to watch it and avoid anything that hurts. Maybe a painkiller (which seem not to need).

    When I bruised my ribs (don't think I actually broke them - but I never did see the doc) coughing, sleeping on that side and any heavy lifting hurt a lot. But I realized that I could even go dirt jumping. All I had to learn quickly was riding with my feet and avoiding pulling on the bar. Gosh, I think my technique improved in those weeks.



    Heal well and fast.

  15. #15
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    Theres definitely a difference between cracked and broken ribs. Cracked are fractured and broken are completely seperated which is more rare. Sounds like you might have cracked/fractured a rib or two which the doctors didn't do anything for me when I cracked two of them.

    However I also had a rib pop out lifting weights and the doctor was able to pop it back in which was well worth the trip to the doctor after a week of hell.

    From what I remember when mine were cracked it hurt like hell to breath or laugh. When it popped out I had twitches and shooting pains but no problems breathing. Hope that helps.

  16. #16
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    not to be a one-upper but this story applies to this thread... i work for an ambulance service in and around the keystone area... last week we got a call at the base of keystone behind one of the fancy condos for a 52 year old male who had crashed his mountain bike. to make a long story short, this guy from TX thought he could go big, like 15 feet of air big, and land it. well he landed it alright!! broke his shoulder blade, seven ribs on the right side, and broke his femur. not only did he break seven ribs, but he also sustained a hemopneumothorax, which is blood and air in his chest cavity. this is treated with a garden hose being inserted into your chest... a VERY painful procedure. he has been in the hospital for 6 days already and will be for many more. while we were on scene with this guy, his left leg had an extra knee and was basically rotated 90 degrees to the outside. this didn't bother him one bit. the only thing that hurt was his ribs. rib fx's SUCK! i have never broken any but i can tell you from experience with lots of patients with broken ribs that it is one of the most annoying, uncomfortable, injuries ever. hope you heal fast!
    Q. how many kids with A.D.D. does it take to change a light bulb?
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  17. #17
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    Wow - I hope the 52 year old dude is healing well and fast, too. Do you know if he actually tried to make one of the stunts?

    Stories like this scare me!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by upmtnsinbreck
    not to be a one-upper but this story applies to this thread... i work for an ambulance service in and around the keystone area... last week we got a call at the base of keystone behind one of the fancy condos for a 52 year old male who had crashed his mountain bike. to make a long story short, this guy from TX thought he could go big, like 15 feet of air big, and land it. well he landed it alright!! broke his shoulder blade, seven ribs on the right side, and broke his femur. not only did he break seven ribs, but he also sustained a hemopneumothorax, which is blood and air in his chest cavity. this is treated with a garden hose being inserted into your chest... a VERY painful procedure. he has been in the hospital for 6 days already and will be for many more. while we were on scene with this guy, his left leg had an extra knee and was basically rotated 90 degrees to the outside. this didn't bother him one bit. the only thing that hurt was his ribs. rib fx's SUCK! i have never broken any but i can tell you from experience with lots of patients with broken ribs that it is one of the most annoying, uncomfortable, injuries ever. hope you heal fast!
    Yeah rib injuries are a blast. I cracked and bruised ribs a couple times playing football, but by far my worst experience was a jet skiing accident that left me with 3 broken ribs, cracked sternum and a collapsed lung. The chest tube I had put in was not very pleasant... especially not when the nurse taking me down to the x-ray department let it get tangled in the wheels of the gurney and almost rip out. I'm a pretty easy going patient, but I didn't hesitate to scream at her ass for that one.

    For some reason too, I tend to not get the right pain meds. I had a hernia surgery once and the Rx the doctor gave me was for anti-inflammatories, but none were actual pain meds. Then, after I had the chest tube put in they gave me the morphine drip with that little button you push. I'm hurting like hell, and pushing the button every 15 minutes when it allows me to. The next day a doctor says, "Oh you must not be in much pain... looks like you haven't used any of your pain meds." Yep, the machine was broken and I was not pleased.

    But like others have mentioned, sneezing after a broken rib (or sternum) is the worst. 6 months after the accident, a sneeze still felt like I was getting hit by a sledgehammer in the chest.

  19. #19
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    JayDude. How are the ribs?
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  20. #20
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    My ribs are hurting like a SOB. It funny you ask Kurt, today is the worst its gotten.

    Still havent gone to the Dr. and have been loading up on Advil, but I am not going to keep from riding this weekend. We wil be doing Kenosha to Breck. Cant miss this one.

    Heres a pic of where my front tire got pinched between the edge of the trail and this rock. It was a freak wreck. I had no Idea it was comming and was lying on the ground out of breath saying WTF!


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