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Experiencing pain in upper chest. Hurts while breathing or moving. What is the possibility of blood clot?

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Practicing since : 1979
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For past two days I have been experiencing pain in my upper chest, mid-right, just under collar bone as well as my upper back (same area, just below neck). It hurts with movement, when pushed, and with breathing, in partcular exhaling. my right shoulder and arm (to elbow) were also sore last night. Worried about possible blood clot.
History: I was a passanger in a car accident on July 3. Spent two nights in hospital with cracked rib, bruising to hips (from lap belt) and sore left foot (no break). On Monday, July 16th, visited doctor because cut on left foot had become infected. Was given Cephalexin (500mg/ 4x/day). No other medications right now, though was took morphine for 4 days after accident and then switched self to Tylenol and ibuprophen. May take and ibuprophen after typing this.
Posted Mon, 6 Aug 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Your symptoms seem to be related to the injuries you sustained in the car accident. You have not mentioned the details about the cracked rib like which side of the rib was cracked. I would also like to know if you are running fever, have cough, blood in the sputum or any shortness of breath?

In my opinion you may have sustained a contusion on the upper chest or even a cracked rib on right side which is causing this pain.

You need to undergo an x-ray chest and if required a CT scan of the chest. This will help in ruling out any serious underlying pathology like a pneumothorax, haemothorax, lung contusion or evolving pneumonia. It will also show if any rib is cracked.

As of now by the description of your symptoms, a clot or any other serious pathology is unlikely. You may continue ibuprofen and tylenol for the pain and take rest.

Awaiting your response.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing pain in upper chest. Hurts while breathing or moving. What is the possibility of blood clot? 2 hours later
Thank you for your prompt response.
A CT scan was performed on July 3 for my chest and hips. The results revealed a cracked rib on my right side. I have no fever, cough, or blood. I do have difficulty breathing deeply; but this is probably due to anxiety.

The cut appears to be healing. In addition to the antibiotic, I have been soaking it in a baking soda/salted water mixture and then dressing it with Polysporin and bandage. There is still a purple-red bruising around the cut, which is sore to touch (on a nerve that affects my 3rd and 4th toe) but the pain is diminishing.

I am relieved that you do not believe the pain to be due to any sort of embolism.
Thank you for your time.
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 15 hours later

Thanks for further input.

As I had mentioned, the pain on right side appears to be is due to the cracked rib. In fact the pain due to cracked rib can be very agonising and patient may not be able to take a full breath. Movements make it worse. You should continue with pain killers for some time and the pain will subside gradually.

I hope this helps. Please do let me know in case you have further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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