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Thread: Broken Ribs

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    The Clefty freakin' Boys Thhaze's Avatar
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    Broken Ribs

    Back in October I was out mountain biking with some friends and I hit a deep hole and flipped over my handlebars (head down feet up) into a tree. I hit the tree on the left side of my back and broke two ribs. It's been about six weeks now since the accident and the pain is mostly gone but when I take deep breaths, especially during hill climbs, my ribs "click". It's hard to explain but they feel like they're popping in and out of place. There is no pain involved at all but I'm wondering exactly what's going on.

    Has anyone else gone through this type of injury with the same results? If so, can you give me any idea of how long it will be until I'm "back to normal"? (some would say that will NEVER happen )

    Thanks!
    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

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    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    Since, haze, you got n o response, I will add a something:

    I had a hip injury, and it felt like what you are describing. The lesser trochanter tore off. Look it up if you like; it is part of a femur.

    II am no doctor, so defer to El Senor Croak if you wnt.

    Now...
    Try jumping as high as possible many times until exhausted.
    Then , do lots of situps.
    It should help get the iregularities dissipated.

    Jacob
    medical patient
    "Always continue with an attack you have begun." - Manfred von Richthofen
    "Mysteries are not necessarily miracles." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    "Back then, a half-a-century ago, the situation was totally different. Economically, we were practically on our knees, and politically, we were still excluded from the community of nations. Today, in this respect, we have a totally different and much more stable basis." - Franz Beckenbauer

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    obviously your ribs haven't finished healing. To speed the process I'd use an anti-inflammatory diet with some extra calcium. I would also take it easy,let them heal, unless you want to click forever....
    http://www.anrminerals.com/html/TR_prod_calmgzinc.html
    I have one of those a day, two for you. I take it with a fruit shake as part of breakfast. Take the second with lunch. Obviously, other foods containing calcium is also a good idea. Much of the calcium in milk is tied up in protein metabolism and not available for for your bones, btw.
    Last edited by late; 11-15-03 at 10:24 AM.

  4. #4
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    or for supplement also take colloidal minerals in a glass of water or whatever...
    these come from the Great Salt Lake's salt water (but concentrated, and with Na and K partly removed)
    good for building your salt(s) as well as mineral basis of the constitution

    Jacob
    "Always continue with an attack you have begun." - Manfred von Richthofen
    "Mysteries are not necessarily miracles." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    "Back then, a half-a-century ago, the situation was totally different. Economically, we were practically on our knees, and politically, we were still excluded from the community of nations. Today, in this respect, we have a totally different and much more stable basis." - Franz Beckenbauer

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    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    quote: unless you want to click forever....
    http://www.anrminerals.com/html/TR_prod_calmgzinc.html
    I have one of those a day, two for you. I take it with a fruit shake as part of breakfast


    what is that? just Calcium , Magnesium, Zinc?
    my browser was taking too long to load the page.
    Jacob
    "Always continue with an attack you have begun." - Manfred von Richthofen
    "Mysteries are not necessarily miracles." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    "Back then, a half-a-century ago, the situation was totally different. Economically, we were practically on our knees, and politically, we were still excluded from the community of nations. Today, in this respect, we have a totally different and much more stable basis." - Franz Beckenbauer

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    Have you had follow up scans done to inspect the healing?

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    yes, it's calcium, magnesium and zinc.
    Good stuff, but you certainly can use some other brand. Just be careful not to go much over 500mg in a meal. So if you're eating a killler diet as I reccomended, get a 250 or 300mg per dose. If you're just tossing one back with a beer and pizza (when you think about it) 500mg is fine.

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    A yai yai, so much nutritional advise for broken bones. I wish I knew I could swallow my way to recovery. I would have done it many boken bones ago.

    Look, rib injuries take a long time to heal. Six weeks?! Ha ha ha. Don't kid yourself. Rib injuries take months to heal. Even rib bone contusions take at least two or three months for an under-30-year-old healthy male before the shadows of pain fade.

    The best medicine for healing fast is a young healthy body. Take one or both of those two things out of the equation, and you have a longer healing process.

    I have seen a lot of rib injuries from teaching martial arts. If you BROKE your ribs (not contusions, not cracked - but BROKEN), then you have six months before you can even breath heavy without pain. It will be nine months before you can move freely without some pain and years before you will ever forget about it.
    Mike

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,
    two seperate issues. Your body will heal without the extra calcium. It will, however, scavenge that calcium from other parts of your body. The second thing is that healing generally happens faster with a really good diet. It's a real pain in the butt to eat that way; so nobody does it. But it's worth mentioning.....

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi Mike,
    two seperate issues. Your body will heal without the extra calcium. It will, however, scavenge that calcium from other parts of your body. The second thing is that healing generally happens faster with a really good diet. It's a real pain in the butt to eat that way; so nobody does it. But it's worth mentioning.....
    I believe you are correct, late.
    Mike

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    The Clefty freakin' Boys Thhaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Look, rib injuries take a long time to heal. Six weeks?! Ha ha ha. Don't kid yourself. Rib injuries take months to heal. Even rib bone contusions take at least two or three months for an under-30-year-old healthy male before the shadows of pain fade.

    I have seen a lot of rib injuries from teaching martial arts. If you BROKE your ribs (not contusions, not cracked - but BROKEN), then you have six months before you can even breath heavy without pain. It will be nine months before you can move freely without some pain and years before you will ever forget about it.
    Thanks for the feedback. This is the low down on my trip to the doctor.

    Me: Doc, I think I broke my ribs. I can hardly lift my left arm.

    Doc: Well let's have a looksie at them. Hmmm... Let's get some x-rays!

    Me: *sigh of relief*

    Off to the X-ray lab I go.

    Doc: (looking at the x-rays) Well, I don't see any breaks. It looks like you've got a contusion.

    Me: A contusion!! What's that?!

    Doc: A deep bruise in the tissue between your rib bones.

    Me: *Clueless* But doc, they click when I move like this. *at this point I take my docs hand, put it on my ribs and make them click which he hears and feels.

    Doc: Ahhh, I see! Well, take it easy for a couple weeks and you should be fine. Here's a bunch of drugs you can take to ease the pain.

    Me: *Still clueless but starting to think my doc might be an idiot*

    The next day at work I can barely move my arm without pain off the scale. I get home that night and have a message waiting from my doc for me to call him ASAP.

    Me: Hi Doc. What's up? (what's up doc?! Sorry... couldn't resist!)

    Doc: I mis-read your x-rays. You've got two broken ribs (I'm assuming they were cracked or he would have called me back in to wrap me up or something)

    Me: *Starting to get a clue and now very convinced my doc's an idiot* So, what do I do now?!

    Doc: Take it easy for a couple weeks and take more of the drugs I gave you for the pain. (flexerall? Good stuff!!!!) You should be ok in about six or eight weeks.

    Anyway, that was something like 7 weeks ago now I guess. I have tried to increase my calcuim intake and I've scaled back my riding quite a bit. Since it's too cold to ride outside (for me anyway) when I ride it's on rollers and I'm keeping it at about 5 miles a day. My ribs used to click even when I was at rest and took deep breaths but they've pretty much stopped that. I'm hoping it's because whatever they were doing they've decided not to do anymore. Now my left side just feels "tight", almost like I need to stretch or something. When I do have pain it's really dull. It's about the same feeling I have when I've got sore muscles.

    So, what's up with the clicking? Is that my ribs free floating or what? If it is how come it doesn't hurt when they click? Is it possible to dislocate a rib? What is the airspeed of a laiden swallow?!

    I NEED ANSWERS!!!

    ps. I'm 10 years past 30 and I like to think I'm in pretty good shape (5'10, 190 lbs) so I guess I'll just ride it out. (No pun intended)
    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

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    Broken ribs are very tough to really do anything about. You could be put in a body cast, but not many people appreciate this idea. Other than that, just wait it out and don't aggrevate the healing process.

    With the X-rays, do you have them? If so, there should be a short report coupled with them from the reporting doctor. Read it and see what it says.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    If you screw around, your body can give up on you. Then the bones either never heal; or take years to knit.

  14. #14
    Planet Saver billwatson58's Avatar
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    I broke at least one rib and maybe two ribs a year and a half ago and I still feel it at times - not really pain now but an annoyance I'd say. I'm 44, and agree that ribs take a long time to heal.
    Bikes are fun. And better.

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    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    Why are you asking about ribs on a Training and Nutrition bicycle forum if you think you have a bad doctor?

    Jacob
    "Always continue with an attack you have begun." - Manfred von Richthofen
    "Mysteries are not necessarily miracles." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    "Back then, a half-a-century ago, the situation was totally different. Economically, we were practically on our knees, and politically, we were still excluded from the community of nations. Today, in this respect, we have a totally different and much more stable basis." - Franz Beckenbauer

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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    The good thing about broken ribs and contusions is that whether your doctor is an idiot or competent, the remedy is the same; do nothing.

    In the old days, they would have taped up your torso. However, it was later realized that the restricted breathing due to the wrapping caused pneumonia, so now broken/cracked ribs are usually left "as-is" except for extreme cases where the bones threaten to do tissue damage or puncture a lung.

    Let's see.... you are 30 plus 10 equals "40 spmething" TA DAAA. Welcome to the wonderment-filled introduction to middle age. Like a great many other tasks you put your body to, healing will also be slower than it was when you were younger.
    Mike

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    The Clefty freakin' Boys Thhaze's Avatar
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    Awesome

    Thanks for all the feedback. This being the first time I've ever had a break like this (ribs) I was/am a bit nervous as to what my body was/is up to. I've gone heavy on the protein intake and been upping the calcium, although I'm a bit bummed out to learn that drinking milk isn't going to help much.

    Thanks!

    He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

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