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Thread: Broken rib?

  1. #1
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    Broken rib?

    Ever have one of those days when you don't feel quite on top of your game, but you ride like you are anyway? And then you crash? Happened to me yesterday evening. Was tired and worn out after a stressful week's work. Hadn't been getting enough sleep. Took a different bike than usual, one that I don't often ride on trails. Dropped the front tire about a foot into an eroded ditch by the side of the trail while going downhill. Slammed into ground and slid down the hill.

    Fortunately, the ground was padded by a wonderful covering of sharp-edged, crushed rock . (I wish I could say that my t-shirt protected me).That "trail" must've been a driveway, or a road of some sort in the distant past. For whatever reason, it was once reinforced with crushed stone.

    I ended up with some major road rash on my forearm, my arm, and on my right side all the way down to the bottom of my rib cage. I just got shredded. That hurt the most. Abrasions hurt bad.

    At first, I thought I'd lucked out and avoided breaking any ribs. Now I'm rather convinced otherwise. Hurts to breath deeply. Hurts to cough. Hurts to sit up in bed. And pressing on my sternum triggers pain in one of my ribs. Perhaps it's all bad bruising, because the pain is bearable. But I'm thinking I should trundle myself over to the hospital and get x-rayed.

    What a stupid wreck too. There was no reason to wreck where I did. My 11-year-old would've cleaned that trail, no problem. It's not like the trail was narrow or terribly steep. There weren't any technical obstacles. AlI I had to do was to avoid going into the ditch. I hope I haven't blown the rest of my summer's riding over this. Heck, I didn't even plan to get off road last night. I should've stayed on the pavement.

  2. #2
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    Having FXed two myself in the past, sounds like you are there and must go forthwith to the ER. It's not good to wait on body, neck or head hits, there could be painless internal trauma...best of luck and keep us posted.
    PS-If yer gonna play ruff...consider dressing for it...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bawitdaba
    PS-If yer gonna play ruff...consider dressing for it...
    It's not like I'm doing downhill runs like you see in the magazines. If you could see where I crashed, you'd probably yawn at the trail. I'm not sure what I could wear that wouldn't be horribly overkill for the riding that I do.

    Edit: But I would be open to suggestions on protective gear. I mostly ride what people call cross-country. The one thing is, I do like to go fast on the downhills. That's what I crashed doing yesterday, and it's probably when I'm most likely to crash again.

    I don't recall any of the LBSs in my area even stocking any protective gear. I'm not even sure what's available. I don't want to go out cross-country riding with a full-face helmet and and football-style protection, that's for sure. OTOH, something to protect my ribs next time I crash might not be a bad thing.

  4. #4
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    I suggest you spend a day or weekend at the nearest lift serviced DH mountain, rent a bike and some gear...the rest will fall into place...Dude, I'm telling you I think it's worse than crack....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    At first, I thought I'd lucked out and avoided breaking any ribs. Now I'm rather convinced otherwise. Hurts to breath deeply. Hurts to cough. Hurts to sit up in bed. And pressing on my sternum triggers pain in one of my ribs. Perhaps it's all bad bruising, because the pain is bearable. But I'm thinking I should trundle myself over to the hospital and get x-rayed.
    Yep, sounds like broken ribs. I have hairline fractures in my left ribs (along with a right broken wrist) having a very similar accident that you did. Mine was also a fatigue accident.

    Definitely get x-rays and see a doctot. They original told me I didn't break any ribs until the hospital took a second look and called me later that night.

    3 weeks later, they don't hurt nearly as much. The first week, the pain really sucked. After I started walking nightly, I've noticed daily improvement. YMMV.
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  6. #6
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    Don't beat yourself up too bad

    Most of our injuries on this forum are of the stupid variety that could have been avoided by riding just inches to the left or right or going a little slower or paying maybe just a little more attention. Every ride I go on I now notice the small bullets I dodge because my front tire just happens to NOT wash out or I notice the obstacle and take the correct line JUST IN TIME. Shite happens and when it does....just let go of the anger and get busy healing up!

    And, yes, I've had broken ribs and they suck. Just ask your friends not to joke around with you so you can at least avoid the pain of laughing.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Shite happens and when it does....just let go of the anger and get busy healing up!
    Yeah, I'm kinda past the frustration phase right now. I did go out today to have a look at where I crashed. Had a good look around to see where I went wrong. Got that figured out. Now it's time to move on.

    Tomorrow my wife and son get home after having been gone for a week. I'm looking forward to showing my son the biggest case of road rash he's ever seen.

  8. #8
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    does it hurts to smile because you know you might laugh next? yeah, then it is broken. done that.

  9. #9
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    probably broken... but what can the doc do?

    well...
    I think I broke one of mine (front wheel in rut, turned, going fast, crashed)
    and its been about a month. Rode a 50 mile race 2 weeks after...A doctor won't do much for a simple broken rib. The problem is if its messing with any internal organs. I didn't go to the doc because of my insurance deductible, but wish I did. It really would have sucked to have had a serious undetected internal injury...I could feel it shift when I pushed on it Mine hasn't hurt riding, but I don't want to crash on it for a few months. I say get it checked out.
    One of these days I'm gonna pull myself together
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  10. #10
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    I'm the original poster. I did finally decide to go see a doctor and get an x-ray. Hated to do that, really, because I knew that the doctor wouldn't do anything and that I'd just end up with a pile of bills from deductibles and copayments. But I have a side-job that involves lifting patients, so the responsible thing to do was to go get checked out.

    Doctor diagnosed bruised ribs and/or cartilage. X-rays do not show anything broken, and the area of concern is where the bone begins to fade out into cartilage. There is no crepitus -- i.e., no bone ends grinding against each other. Doctor gave me the green light to do whatever I wanted so long as I can bear the pain. No risk to internal organs. No risk of further damage. Nothing to worry about.

    So I was basically right. Going to the doctor was a complete waste of my time and money. But at least I know for certain that nothing is actually broken. I suppose that's worth something (but not what I'm going to end up having to pay).

    The pain is still with me. It's bearable. It's better than it was a week ago. It tends to flare up only with certain movements, and with deep breaths. I just live w/it. I figure it'll haunt me for weeks to come. I've been riding -- even fell over the bars this past Friday. I'm just doing what I normally do and getting on with life.

  11. #11
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    Glad it isn't broken! Broken is really painful. Hurt to breath every breath...wake up screaming because you started to roll over onto that side...I didn't like that one.

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