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Chest trauma,cracked rib,breast pain,lump,mammography,ekg,normal blood work

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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I had a chest trauma from a fall in Dec. 2010, but my doctor said he didn't think I had a cracked rib. Subsequently I have had breast pain and chest pain on the left side. Also I have a thickening (semisoft lump) behind my left breast. Mammography and ekg and stress tests all normal. All blood work normal. It has been 8 months and I still have the lump and breast/chest pain, though it's mild. Sometimes I also have a sharp pain in my back right behind the rib. My dr did a breast exam and determined that the lump is on my rib and probably related to the chest trauma (ie, I actually did crack a rib then.) He wants to wait and see if there are any changes. I have never heard of a cracked rib taking this long to heal. Is that possible?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 15 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for asking the question.

I'm not sure whether an x-ray was done to rule out a fracture then.

That is a primary investigation to confirm a fracture.

Now fracture or no fracture the condition should have improved by now. The trauma need
not necessarily result in fracture, but could be a haematoma (local collection of blood at the site of trauma), soft tissue swelling etc.

But if the lump in the breast is at exact site of trauma then you definitely need evaluation with Xray or CT scan.

This could also be a hypertrophic union of a fracture wherein the union of broken bones take place with extra bony tissue spilling out in adjacent areas.

That can give a delayed lump as in your case.

I hope you do not have pain while breathing, especially XXXXXXX inspiration or coughing. If you do then your lungs are being affected due to trauma.

In my opinion, if the lump is painful, repeat the mammography or go for an MRI. If the pain is bony in nature (which you may be sure of if pain comes with XXXXXXX pressing, XXXXXXX breathing or coughing) get a CT scan done without further delay.

Hope this answers your query.
Feel free to ask more questions. Thank you
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