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What causes pain under rib cage while coughing?

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Posted on Mon, 11 May 2015
Question: I've had. A bad cough for a week or more; bronchitis. Late last week while bending over toward my left side, I had a bad cough followed by immediate pain under my rib cage. I thought for sure I had broken a rib! The pain subsided and went away except when coughing, and now, today, on sneezing. This past Friday my doc ordered X-Rays which showed no rib fractures, slight pneumonia; they prescribed prednisone an antibiotic and cherrutussin with codeine. I am 66, male, have anemia, large corpus (obese) Have (had?) pulmonary embolisms from long trips without movement, on warfarin. The pain is the most intense I've ever experienced including rotator cuff and broken ribs. What is the possibility I have done damage to my spleen? My abdomen is larger than ever!!
Thanks XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Get done CT Pulmonary Angiography.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on HCM.
I can understand your situation and problem.
Since you are having pain even after treatment, we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction in your case.
On routine chest x ray, infarction looks like small pneumonia.
Chest pain after coughing is seen in infarction.
So we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction.
You are obese, so this is also a risk factor for recurrent embolism.
So better to consult pulmonologist and get done CT Pulmonary Angiography to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction.
You can take painkiller at present for relief.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (13 minutes later)
My specific question is: Could I have injured my spleen by coughing hard while bent over? The pain is very localized by the spleen area, does NOT worsen with deep breathing and gets very intense and sharp when I cough. Again: could I have injured my spleen or other internal organ?

Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Spleen injury is less likely.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
Spleen is retro peritoneal structure.
So coughing can not cause spleen injury.
So spleen injury is less likely in your case.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14654 Questions

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What causes pain under rib cage while coughing?

Brief Answer: Get done CT Pulmonary Angiography. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on HCM. I can understand your situation and problem. Since you are having pain even after treatment, we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction in your case. On routine chest x ray, infarction looks like small pneumonia. Chest pain after coughing is seen in infarction. So we need to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction. You are obese, so this is also a risk factor for recurrent embolism. So better to consult pulmonologist and get done CT Pulmonary Angiography to rule out Pulmonary embolism and infarction. You can take painkiller at present for relief. Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.