Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Notices

Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Old 12-21-2008, 01:48 PM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 15,136
Default Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

On Wednesday I rolled my snowmobile in a complete 360. I was making a right turn in a plowed field and one of the ski's dug in and the machine rolled to the left with me under it. After it happened I laid in the field for about 5 minutes trying to catch my breath and as soon as I got up I knew I did something to the left side of my body. I've been attached to a heating pad and taking 4 Advil about every 3 hours since Wednesday. I haven't even been able to lay down so I've been sleeping in the chair for the past 4 days.

It hurts when I take a deep breath. Coughing or laughing about makes me pass out from the pain. It hurts to get up, sit down, or bascially move. I can hardly get in and out of the car. The odd thing is that there is only a bruise about the size of a quarter in my rib area. My left arm is bruised badly but not my rib area. I've got a lump protruding out from under my rib cage that feels like a muscle sticking out, it feels like a knife sticking in me when I move.

I've never broken my ribs, would the rib area likely turn black/blue if my ribs were broken? I thought it would start to get better after 4 days but I would have to say it has actually gotten worse. I'm pretty miserable but even if I get an x-ray and my ribs are broken, what can a doctor do about it?

Russ
RussH is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 01:51 PM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hewitt & Forked River, NJ
Posts: 3,058
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Damn dude, you feel something protruding and are wondering what to do about it. Go get it x-rayed.

I remember breaking mine years ago. It still hurt to cough a year later.
ReelNauti is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:10 PM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 11,836
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Get your ass to the ER, dude. Sounds like a broken rib for sure, and if you don't watch out you may end up with a punctured lung.
The Dr. can wrap your rib cage to a degree, but there's not much you can do other than stay still and let it heal.
He can also give you some meds to kill the pain.....ask Tireless.....he can hook you up!!
Wolakrab is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:27 PM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Out west
Posts: 3,293
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Wolakrab - 12/21/2008 2:10 PM

Get your ass to the ER, dude. Sounds like a broken rib for sure, and if you don't watch out you may end up with a punctured lung.
The Dr. can wrap your rib cage to a degree, but there's not much you can do other than stay still and let it heal.
He can also give you some meds to kill the pain.....ask Tireless.....he can hook you up!!
Follow the advice. Get an X-Ray!!!

How do you know if the ribs are broken? An X-Ray might show the fracture. Deformity (and you appear to have some) is also a good indication.

Blunt thoracic trauma (that's the two bit term for what you sustained) can have significant secondary consequences. The spleen lives under the left lower ribs, and is often fractured. (Causing internal bleeding) Under the right side is the liver. (You really don't want a fractured liver either!!!!) Thirdly, you likely have suffered a lung contusion (Bruised lung) and may have hemothorax (blood in the pleural space) or a small pneumothorax. (Air)

All of the above can result in significant longer term illness. Go to the doctor and have yourself checked out. The fractured ends of the rib are rough and move with each breath. This can cause additional bleeding and trauma.

There's much more to your injury than broken ribs and I strongly advise getting examined. It's difficult to believe that even the lousiest doctor wouldn't order and review a chest film.

You will also need some significant pain medicines, and some activity restrictions. You are a possible good setup for a later pneumonia.

And I'm going easy on you!!!
dssmith is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 03:02 PM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location:
Posts: 3,389
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Call your doctor or go to an ER. If you have a regular doctor, call him or her, if possible, before going to the ER or on the way. Don't delay in a true emergency though...This can sometimes help you avoid long waits in ERs, plus you can get his/her advice.
DrJim is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 03:53 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location:
Posts: 9,907
Default RE: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

I think you know already! Like friends have said get to a Dr.!
Often there's not much to do for ribs except tape them up and
get ready for a lengthy recovery depending on your age and what kind of shape you're in.

Oh, and every so often for as long as you live you'll move in a way to aggravate this
injury and take you back to NOW.

Feel better! Let us know how you make out.
mronzo is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 04:47 PM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 15,136
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Holy cow, thanks for the detailed information. I've been very happy with the boating advice from the forum, never asked a medical question.

It's to late today and just to dang cold out so I am going to call my family doctor in the morning. He is usually impossible to get in to see on short notice so I will probably go to one of these Urgent Care Centers, they should have x-ray machines right?

I've waited this long because I thought it would go away and because there is no significant bruising. I think the injury was more of a crushing type of injury -vs- a blow to the ribs like a punch. Maybe that is why there is very little brusing. My left forearm is purple from my elbow to my wrist, that is because when I felt the snowmobile start to roll I threw my left arm out to try to stop it from going over and slammed it on the frozen ground.

This really is miserable, I've never felt such a severe constant pain for such a long period of time with very little relief. I can see why I may feel this a year from now.

Thanks for the advice, especially the detailed info from Dssmith. What did the comment about Tireless hooking me up with pain meds mean? Is he a pharmaceutical guy or something? If so, he is a very valuable friend to have!
RussH is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:23 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
ladyjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lake champlain vermont
Posts: 30,178
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

you all need to go in I did this and never hurt the machine. I was coming back from the bad yea I know and the machine hit a stump and the handle bar hit me in the chest broke 6 ribs the pain was bad. I had to walk out 2 miles on the trail because could not pull start the machine. Got home at 3 dint he am and went to the ER at 6 was laid up for 2 months with pain I don't want again. GO IN!!!
ladyjane is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:30 PM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

With having broken several ribs on two different occasions I have to second what dssmith said.

What can they do for broken ribs, basically nothing. I know up here the Docs don't even like to wrap the ribs......supposedly the restriction of the rib cavity greatly reduces the performance of the lungs which increase the odds of having pneumonia. If your medical coverage is really good or your pockets are pretty deep you can go in and have your ribs wired together to speed up the recovery. Now I don't know how old you are or what sort of general health your in, but start figuring on several month to half year or even longer before you start feeling like your old self. In other words, Russ you ain't snowmobiling any more this season.

If you don't already have yourself a LazyBoy chair, you best go buy a good one because that is going to be your home and your bed for the next several months! The first time I broke my ribs I slept in the chair for a little over nine months and it took my ribs somewhere around 2 years to heal enough to stop clunking around. The second time I broke my ribs the recliner was my bed for 4 - 5 months.

Oh, bruising, I never had any bruising either, but sure as sh!t I broke 3 ribs the first time and 2 the second time. Good luck.........I feel for yah!
Garett is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:33 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
bellsisland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,915
Default RE: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Having broke just one rib this past summer, trust me you are in for one of the most miserable injuries you have ever had. I have had my big tow cut off years ago and it was nothing like breaking a rib. Trust me you are in for weeks of unbearable misery sorry but it is true.
bellsisland is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:44 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Miami, FloriDUH
Posts: 2,024
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

OK try this little test.

Poke yourself in the ribs. If it really hurts, go to the ER.

If you do not have insurance, now is a good time to take a vacation to Canada. Claim you fell down somewhere in Canada and you will be taken care of.

Seeking medical advice on a boating forum is not really the best idea.

Go to the ER. If you have to wait for too long, puke in a plant. Once you start making a mess you get help faster (I know this from an incident where I managed to set my hand on fire). You will get drugs that make the pain go away. You will also be told exactly what is wrong by someone NOT on the internet.

I do not know what they can do about it - other than provide drugs. But I would go find out!
Lazy_Iguana is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:03 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Lazy_Iguana - 12/21/2008 8:44 AM

OK try this little test.

Poke yourself in the ribs. If it really hurts, go to the ER.
Yup that would be a good test for sure!

edit: Russ you best start taking some vitamin C......the LAST thing you need right now is a cold!!! ~
Garett is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:22 PM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,508
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

I broke 2 ribs a couple years ago while sheetrocking my garage (which is vaulted). I took a bad spill off of the ladder which definitely hurt but I was able to shake it off and finish the job. Two days later I woke up and almost passed out when I tried to move. Turns out, the doctor says it's pretty common for it to take a couple of days for the serious pain to set in. By the time I got to the ER I couldn't even stand for the minute needed to get x-rayed without passing out. They finally shot me up with something so they could get the x-ray.

Due to my age (34 at the time) they were willing to bind me in a rib strap which was a huge help along with some good pain killers. The Doc said that they don't like to bind ribs if you're much older than that due to the respitory issues. If I were you, I'd go get the rib belt regardless of what they recommend. That and just pray that you don't sneeze, laugh or cough. I've broken quite a few bones, had both ear drums rupture in the same night, and caught my fingers in a table saw but none of that even touches the broken ribs. I feel for ya. Good luck.
Cousin Eddie is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:28 PM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 15,136
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Been sleeping in the recliner since Wednesday. Actually I haven't moved much from the chair. The pain getting into and out of the car is almost unbearable. I have a pretty high threshold for pain but the thought of getting into the car has kept me home. Right now it's like -3 below zero w/ wind chill of -25 here in northern Ohio. The only getting up I'm doing until tomorrow morning is to the toilet and checking the computer on the way back to my chair.

No problem with insurance, I am fully covered and have great insurance. I am in good health, nothing wrong with me. The only meds I take are for blood pressure.

My very first ride on the snowmobile this year, I actually made it about 100' into the field behind my house before I rolled it. No way am I going to be able pull start that hog this year.

God help me if I get a cold Garett, I'm loaed up on the vitamins every morning...I don't know how anyone could have a cold with
injured ribs and be able to function.

Hopefully the doc gets me some good drugs since I'm off of work until January 5th. I would like to sleep for about a week and wake up when the pain eases up.
RussH is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:46 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Miami, FloriDUH
Posts: 2,024
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

So you have insurance. I guess that means you pay for part or all of the premium.

And you do not want to use it now? Do you also buy a new car then not drive it? You know, just because making the payments is so much fun??

What are you waiting for?
Lazy_Iguana is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:58 PM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

RussH - 12/21/2008 9:28 AM
God help me if I get a cold Garett, I'm loaed up on the vitamins every morning...I don't know how anyone could have a cold with
injured ribs and be able to function.
Now I'm not doctor, but somehow because your lungs will be working at a tenth of what they normally work at a cold/ pneumonia/ bronchitis is very common. And if you didn't know, once you get pneumonia or bronchitis once, every cold there after could easily develop into pneumonia or bronchitis.
As far as the pain associated with coughing.........just picture the worst pain you've felt so far, now double or triple that......the pain is DEFINITELY enough to black you out! "IF" you do start to feel a cold coming on get in to see your family doctor......I know he put me on steroids to help save my lungs.



Hopefully the doc gets me some good drugs since I'm off of work until January 5th. I would like to sleep for about a week and wake up when the pain eases up.
Best of luck with both of those pipe dreams.
Garett is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 07:08 PM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location:
Posts: 575
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

You are killing me. Actually you might be killing you. I'm not much on telling people to go to the ER, but that's where you need to be. Like the other poster said, it's not really the broken rib that could be your biggest problem, it's the stuff underneath that is the bigger issue. You have may have a potentally life threatening injury. If you have a displaced rib fracture, the sharp, pointy end of that rib can kill you. I'm not a "sky is falling" kind of guy,
but you need at a minimum a chest x-ray and possibly a CT or two. Best of luck whatever happens. I call dibs on your boat.
firemedc1560 is offline  
Old 12-21-2008, 10:52 PM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGERPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Maui and SoCal
Posts: 7,103
Default RE: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

RussH - 12/21/2008 11:48 AM
I haven't even been able to lay down so I've been sleeping in the chair for the past 4 days.
It hurts when I take a deep breath. Coughing or laughing about makes me pass out from the pain. It hurts to get up, sit down, or basically move. I can hardly get in and out of the car.
Russ
That's probably a better description of broken ribs than you'll find in most medical encyclopedias. Believe it or not, there is actually something worse to break - your collar bone. But as you've found out, bruising or breaking ribs will ground you in a hurry. If you have a displaced one, they'll have to set it. And here's the good part: After this long, they may need to re-break it to set it properly! That ought to make you wince a bit....

Time to go see the shaman and now is a good time.
kerno is offline  
Old 12-22-2008, 04:10 AM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manasquan NJ
Posts: 389
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

Guys I'm not a doc. I played football for about 15 years... I have injured everything... When you think it is something it is something else. If it was me I would go to the ER and I'm not the type of guy that just jumps to the ER. In college I got smashed from behind and I thought I broke ribs and the last thing you want to do is let the coach know you are hurt because you want to travel that week... So as I was crawling into my apartment the woman upstairs from me was a nurse and thank god she had more sense then me. The Next thing I knew I was lying on a table in a hospital and I was told a few days later I had internal bleeding and if I did not get to the Hospital when I did, let’s just say I would not be writing this email. Get your Arss to the ER and stop reading this crap Jackass! Take it from Fellow Jackass! I got second dibs on Boat!
jstonack is offline  
Old 12-22-2008, 10:49 AM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lander, Wyoming USA
Posts: 2,291
Default Re: Broken ribs? How do you know without an x-ray and what can you do about it?

I cracked some ribs a few years ago cross-country skiing and I fell down on a rock. I know, I'm not a very good skier either. Didn't really start hurting until the next day when I couldn't even put my manual gearshift into reverse because it hurt too much to pull on the shifter. Go to the doctor and get some help. Hurts just as much when you bruise your sternum and mess up the cartlidge(sp) in the middle of the rib cage. Did that a couple of times and even the rib belt doesn't help.
JALICHTY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread