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Feel and hurt abdominal area. Having bruises. Having pain. Precautions?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I am a 73 year old male an had a mishap 6 days ago where I was stepping up on a metal chair and lost my balance, fell into the top/back of the chair hitting my right abdominal area just below the rib cage and slid down to where the top of chair stopped my fall. Ribs seemed fine and I was breathing fine with no broken or cracked ribs except for extensive bruises in the lower stomach and rib area. I felt that damage was mostly surface and not XXXXXXX Tonight, prior to my evening meal I took a deep breath and felt a sharp deep pain in lower right side of the abdominal area (below rib cage.) Now at 8:00 I am not comfortable with any torso bending in that area.
What precautions should I take at this time, and thank you?

Posted Tue, 15 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Propably it could be soft tissue contusion.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

It seems from the description that you could have suffered a soft tissue contusion with resultant muscle spasm causing you symptoms.

The general treatment guidelines are as follows -

* Rest to the local part and avoid involving in activities that produces pain
* Ice packing of the painful area once in 2-3 hours. Ice will help calm the inflammatory response and stimulate blood flow to the area.
* Moist heat fomentation before activities, gentle heating can help loosen the muscle. Apply a heat pack to the groin prior to stretching or exercising. As a general rule of thumb, remember to heat before an activity and ice afterwards
* Oral anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin) can help relieve symptoms of pain and also calm the inflammation.
* Physical therapy may speed up the recovery process. Therapeutic modalities such as Ultrasound, Massaging and specific exercises will be helpful.
* Gentle massage of the painful area with a painkiller gel may also provide good pain relief

To rule out any intraabdominal visceral injury, an Ultrasound of the abdomen is necessary.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feel and hurt abdominal area. Having bruises. Having pain. Precautions? 13 hours later
Thank you Doctor,

The only other question I would have is: why did I have a six day delay for this pain to start? I did have some surface discomfort due to the excessive scrape down the side and when the deep pain started yesterday afternoon in lower area, where as I thought back, was from an initial jolt to the abdominal side when my body weight hit the top of chair.
I will use your well advised treatments. If the pain persist. when would you advise the Ultrasound?

Regards, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Any sudden unnoticed movement might be the cause.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

Generally, the injured soft tissues especially the muscles should be given adequate rest immediately after the blunt injury for a minimum period of 24 hours for the inflammation to settle down. Any UNNOTICED movements involving those specific muscles (which causes them to stretch) will result in immediate spasm (tightness) causing severe pain. This could be the mechanism of delayed pain in your case after 6 days of fall.

If your pain is persisting even after a week, then it may be wise to undergo an abdominal ultrasound examination to rule out any soft tissue injury.

Hope I have clarified your issues. Have a great day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feel and hurt abdominal area. Having bruises. Having pain. Precautions? 3 minutes later
Again thanks for your response.
Regards, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 1 minute later
Brief Answer:
You are Welcome.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Its my pleasure to serve you.

Wishing you a faster recovery. Good luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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