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Diagnosed with acute fracture on rib with minimal callus formation. Getting pain. How to treat this?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hi, I was diagnosed with acute fracture of 8th and 9th right side ribs in December 2012. Now after 4 months I am still having a great deal of pain. I can actually feel the ribs rubbing and popping. I can even push on the tenderest area and feel the ribs slide back into place. I recently had another x-ray and was told I now have subacute fracture of right side 8th and 9th ribs with minimal callus formation. What does all that mean and how can I get the ribs to heal?
Posted Fri, 17 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
It seems that the fracture of ribs you had 4 months ago has not healed well which is causing all these symptoms. This can happen due to vitamin D 3 deficiency, osteoporosis, anemia, diet poor in calcium and proteins, etc.
You need to get a few blood tests done under the guidance of your physician to find out the cause of this delayed healing.
Till then you can take any antiinflammatory analgesic containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain relief.Physiotherapy and hot fomentation may provide early relief.
If the pain persists or you develop any new symptom like fever, restriction of movement etc. then seek prompt medical consultation .Otherwise just take adequate rest, a healthy diet and plenty of fluids and proper supplements for better healing.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with acute fracture on rib with minimal callus formation. Getting pain. How to treat this? 1 hour later
I have been wrapping my ribs with an ace bandage to give some support (not for extended times and not too tight) and it does help; but everything says not to do this. I have also seen referance to a "rib band" would this be of help to me? The ribs are so sensitive that even trying to walk for excersise causes enough pain that I can't comfortable move for several days afterwards, is this normal?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
Using an ace bandage and a rib band will help in immobilization thus reducing the pain. You can use it for an early healing.
Exercise is not recommended at the time of pain. You can take mild pain killers for pain relief.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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