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Pain in rib. Had fracture in rib. Taken injections, nerve blocks & done acupuncture, not completely healed. How to get relief?

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Posted on Fri, 29 Jun 2012
Question: Hi
I broke a rib in my back over a year ago and still in a lot of pain. I have done everything, injections, nerve blocks and accupuncture. They claim the fracture has healed but is it possible it healed wrong? It seems so strange that the pain continues. We had believed it was costrochondritis until a bone scan showed the back (right near the spine) 5 th rib and ct scan confirmed. It is terrible that I can not find relief! Help.
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (1 hour later)
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
A fracture of 5th rib near the spine never shows a malunion. It always unites at the right place. Since the bone was fractured one year ago, it must have healed by now.
A follow up Ct scan or an MRI(Magnetic resonance imaging) scan will be helpful in determining the extent of healing that has taken place and any other possible cause of pain.
Since you are getting no relief after injections, nerve block and acupuncture, you can get some relief by using a centrally acting pain killers and muscle relaxants like opioids. You can get the appropriate drugs prescribed from your orthopedician.

Few other options of treatment which may be useful in reducing pain and maintaining functional lifestyle are 'Transcutaneous Electric Nerve stimulation (TENS) units', relaxation techniques, occupational and physical therapy approaches.
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.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12368 Questions

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Pain in rib. Had fracture in rib. Taken injections, nerve blocks & done acupuncture, not completely healed. How to get relief?

Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
A fracture of 5th rib near the spine never shows a malunion. It always unites at the right place. Since the bone was fractured one year ago, it must have healed by now.
A follow up Ct scan or an MRI(Magnetic resonance imaging) scan will be helpful in determining the extent of healing that has taken place and any other possible cause of pain.
Since you are getting no relief after injections, nerve block and acupuncture, you can get some relief by using a centrally acting pain killers and muscle relaxants like opioids. You can get the appropriate drugs prescribed from your orthopedician.

Few other options of treatment which may be useful in reducing pain and maintaining functional lifestyle are 'Transcutaneous Electric Nerve stimulation (TENS) units', relaxation techniques, occupational and physical therapy approaches.
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.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.