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#1 annkd

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:13 AM

Hi All! I am in a bit of a quandary. I went to my primary care doctor to talk about my painful ribs (left side) and my continued gastro issues. I showed him where it hurt and how difficult it was to breath deeply or bend and he said that there was basically nothing to do but wait until it heals. No xray. We chatted on about other sclero issues and he ordered an echo at the end of the month. I left feeling like "what just happened"? My rib still is terribly painful - I guess my question to everyone is there anything I should be concerned about while it heals - or should I press on and get it xrayed? It hurts more today than it did a month ago. Thanks! -Ann

#2 Catty

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:40 AM

Hi Ann,

Did something happen to your ribs ? Or did I overlook that? If it hurts you to breath deeply....did you ask him if it could be Pleurisy.

I have had that before and it was AWFUL! The doctors didn't do anything for me. I did take anti-inflammatories (with a meal) for a bit but I could not take a deep breath at all. MY pain was in my ribs...left side too.

Just a thought. Hope you feel better soon. Go back to see him again and ask him that. It is awful that we have to do that but I have done it many times.

Hugs,
Shirley

#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 02:16 PM

Hi Ann,

If your pain is increasing (instead of decreasing) and the diagnosis is uncertain, then it would be very appropriate to get a second opinion as to whether or not a chest x-ray is indicated.

My husband has several fractured ribs from his lung transplant last month, which is very normal because they have to separate the ribs for the surgery. There's nothing at all they can do for it, they just need to heal in time, which usually takes about six weeks or so. But, they discovered it on x-ray and we know exactly what caused it.

A real question would be what leads your doctor to believe your rib is broken, why he feels there is no other possible explanation for your pain (such as pleurisy, as Shirley pointed out) and why he thinks an x-ray is not needed to confirm it. It might be rationalized away if you had a known injury to your ribs, which you forgot to mention here, because some rib fractures don't show up on x-ray but if the symptoms fit the known injury, the patient still needs to be treated as a broken rib case.

If it turns out, in the end, that it is a fractured rib or two, the basic prescription for it is T-I-M-E; usually about six weeks or so, but it can drag on for months sometimes.

It helps my husband to lay on the side involved (it eases the pain), but heavy pain killers didn't help at all; he reduced and quit them and still had exactly the same amount of pain and in the same spot, but now it is relieved a bit for him by occasional normal doses of acetaminophen (go figure, you'd think the stronger stuff would have been more helpful). He also finds it very helpful to sit up straight. When he slouches at all, or breathes deeply, his ribs make a loud, satisfying popping sound; satisfying in that it verifies his pain is real. And you know how it is with pain, we all want validation for whatever pain we feel.

I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all better for you. But I can't. So why don't you see about getting a second opinion? I certainly would, if I was in the same predicament.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 annkd

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:31 AM

Thank Shelley and Catty. I have booked another appointment with the doctor. I checked out pleurisy on WebMd and learned alot. Over a month ago I was turning my mattress over and I fell into it. I didn't register any pain at the time. Over the days my left side started to hurt. I waited about a month before I went to the doctor. Sleeping on my left side is impossible. Sitting up straight does help - thanks for that tip, Shelley! Who knows. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks again! -Ann

#5 alice1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:34 AM

Ann, Interesting, I just had a CT on my lungs and found out I had a broken rib. It didn't hurt before the call but now it hurts. I identified the spot to the nurse on the phone and I was correct but I think my head is playing games... alice1

#6 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:53 AM

Oh Alice, I had to laugh when you said it your broken rib only hurt after the call. Would it help if I called you and said it wasn't broken, after all?

See, no, I didn't think so.
So I'm sorry you have a broken rib, and am sending you some virtual flowers in hopes it feels better...eventually. :flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:11 PM

Hi Annkd,

Have you found out anything regarding your rib pain yet?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#8 annkd

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 07:11 AM

Hi Shelley - I went to my rheumatologist on Friday and told him about everything and that there was yet one more thing to add to the list. I have been having lower (closer to groin) pains and they extend around to my back. I suggested kidney stones, but he suggested diverticulitus (sp?) and my kidneys. He thought I should have a CT scan and check out the ribs and lower abdominal area. Get it all looked at at once. I go back on Monday to my primary care doctor and will share all this with him. I'm guessing he will set up the CT scan and we'll go from there. The rib pain continues and one thought by the rheumatologist was my spleen. That was due to exact area that is still hurting. The constant pain really gets to me. Pain pills help only so much. I'l let you know more when I get some answers. Very frustrating to say the least. Hugs, Ann

#9 alice1

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:35 AM

Thanks Shelley, I'm all better until someone suggests something else.....alice

#10 Snowbird

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:41 AM

Good luck with your upcoming tests Ann....let us know how you make out with your appointment tomorrow.
Sending good wishes your way!