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Bruised ribs after crashing bike, purple bruise on ribs, hard lump underneath. Any idea?

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Practicing since : 2009
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Hi. I crashed on my mountain bike four weeks ago. I went to the ortho and he took x rays and ruled out a fracture. He told me to rest for a few weeks and said I had bruised ribs. There is a still a small purplish XXXXXXX on my ribs and a hard lump under it. It feels sort of like a pencil eraser. It doesn't really hurt or has not grown in size within the last few weeks. Any idea what this could be? It's about even with my nipple on the right side. Other than that, I have been feeling fine and have been active.

Posted Sun, 16 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Arnab Maji 42 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

It is quite good that you had no fracture. The small purplish spot on your ribs and a hard lump under it suggest that there is formation of a subperiosteal hematoma due to trauma. The purplish spot will disappear gradually but the lump may be present for long time though it will not cause any harm to you. It’s not necessary to remove that hematoma because it will not cause any problem to you and moreover any operative intervention on it will give you pain and result in formation of unnecessary scar over that area.

What you can do is to apply hot compression over that area and you may locally apply heparin gel over that area. It will be of some help to you. Otherwise, surgically this hematoma can be drained though there are some problems of it, which I have already mentioned.

Therefore, it is up to you to decide. Better, you consult an orthopedic surgeon and take his opinion.

Hope I have answered your queries. If you have further queries, you may ask me freely. Otherwise, you may close the discussion here and please write a review on this answer.

God bless you.

Dr Arnab Maji
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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