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How can pain after rib injury be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018 in Pain Management
Question: I am 71 years old and was thrown from a horse on 11/13 falling flat on my back. Cat Scan showed 4 possibly 5 rib fractures . I stayed overnight in the hospital and was sent home on Hydrocodone-Acetamin 5-300 mg 12 tabs and Methocarbimol 750mg (which is now gone and didn't help much). I followed up with my PCP who gave me more Hydrocodone 15 tabs to be taken 3 times a day as needed. I found taking the hydrcodone every 6 hours helped the most and didn't let the pain get ahead of me. I also tried doing a little housework which reinjured one particular spot and now that is very sore. I now have 6 tabs left and the doc refuses to give me more. So the meds spread so far apart are not helping so much. They treat me like a drug addict, and I want is to manage my pain

What can I do to help myself so I can get a decent nights sleep and feel better?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Diclophenac should help.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the query.

Well, rib fractures pain is the bad one as you need to use your chest to breathe. So no wonder it disturbs you so much. Hydrocodone is a good medicine, but can cause addiction indeed. And it does not reduces the inflammation and tissues swelling (the main reason of the pain). So it would be good for you to try Diclophenac 75 mgs twice a day instead of Hydrocodone.
Any cream with anti-inflammatory drug (like Naproxen) can also help a little. Lukewarm compress can somehow reduce the pain. But the key to pain control is Diclophenac.

Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 hours later
I am taking Diclopheniac and it isn't helping, but that is probably because it is 50mg once a day. How do I tell my PCP I need a higher dose twice a day because some doc on line told me that is what I need
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Regular dosage is 150 mgs a day.

Detailed Answer:
You may tell your doctor that regular dosage of Diclophenac is up to 150 mgs a day. This medicine is quite safe as long as you taje some stomach protective medicibe like Omeprazole.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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