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What causes pain under the bottom left rib after injury?

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Posted on Mon, 16 May 2016
Question: I fell heavily this afternoon and bruised or cracked my bottom left rib.
I can breath normally, sitting and crouching the upper body enables me to take deep breaths with small pain.
Sitting erect and breathing deeply is more painful.
I would like to know if this will clear in its own time.
I can massage the entire area easily, pressing the bottom rib is painful.
Thank you XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
it depends...

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

since you don't have any breathing problems, this has to be nothing more than soft tissue injury. Even if one rib breaks, no treatment is applied (time heals it!), unless there are complications also like lung injury (by the broken rib), pneumothorax etc. All these complications cause shortness of breath, so it's rather unlikely that you do have something more serious.

Clinical examination and radiological tests may exclude more serious damage. If it's only a bruise then it will take some time (usually 1-2 weeks to get better). If the pain is unbearable then you'd better do an X-ray to clarify the extent of the injury.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (11 hours later)
Now when I sit or lie for a length of time [ 2 hours ] when I stand up I have nausea and Loose control and crash to the floor.
It is all very painful - the torso and especially the right shoulder, I think it is lumbago
The stomach hurts and breathing is much more difficult - just writing this email is difficult I feel light headed.
Thank you XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
you've got to seek medical help

Detailed Answer:
It seems that your symptoms are severe enough to seek medical help. You've got to do so urgently, to exclude serious damage like broken ribs (if more than one is broken then it's a very serious situation) or internal damage like the conditions I've described in my previous answer.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3801 Questions

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What causes pain under the bottom left rib after injury?

Brief Answer: it depends... Detailed Answer: Hello, since you don't have any breathing problems, this has to be nothing more than soft tissue injury. Even if one rib breaks, no treatment is applied (time heals it!), unless there are complications also like lung injury (by the broken rib), pneumothorax etc. All these complications cause shortness of breath, so it's rather unlikely that you do have something more serious. Clinical examination and radiological tests may exclude more serious damage. If it's only a bruise then it will take some time (usually 1-2 weeks to get better). If the pain is unbearable then you'd better do an X-ray to clarify the extent of the injury. I hope you find my comments helpful! You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information. Kind Regards!