What does a lump on the ribcage indicate?

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Posted on Tue, 6 Aug 2019 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I fell and fractured 6 ribs 4 weeks ago, spent 2 weeks in hospital. However I now have a lump on my one back rib, that to me looks like it has started healing awkwardly and my ribs on my left front of the rib cage look about 3 cm higher than on the other side. I am finally managing to sleep using only 2 pillows in a v shape with another pillow across. Unable to sleep on my left side (injured side ). Will the lumps go away eventually
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Answered by Dr. Dorina Gurabardhi 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Probably just an inflammation of the soft tissue that will go away itself.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I want to ask you some questions:
-Does the lump feel hard when you touch it?
-Does it change its shape?
-Have you done an X-ray after the lump appeared?

In my opinion, it is just an inflammation of the soft tissue that will go away itself.
It can also be a torn cartilage. An X-ray is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Some advice that I can give to you is:
-Continue with ice compresses
-if the lump doesn't go away see your Orthopeadician for further treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Dorina Gurabardhi, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Dorina Gurabardhi 12 hours later
Tel lump is hard and on the line of the top rib bone broken. I return on the 24th for a check up, so no further x rays until then. HOWEVER you did not answer my query. 1.is it normal for lumps to appear and will it go away 2. The issue of the front of my rib cage being different in shape and size now. It is as is the floating ribs on my left are no longer showing and the other are now sticking up. I am meant to return to work as a carer for Dementia patients on the 25th, is still painful, should I ask for extension of sick note. I battle with bending and picking up things still, but can do basic cooking, cleaning, ironing, but lifting anything heavy pulls and causes pain from the front to the back. Also , should my left breast also still feel bruised and tender after all this time. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dorina Gurabardhi 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Probably torn cartilage,it will heal itself so don't worry.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

The lump, in this case, is probably related to a torn cartilage.
It is normal after trauma and will go away on its own so don't worry. The period of healing it's a little slow.

It will be needed up to 12 weeks for recovery. Rest is necessary for the recovery.

Also, the rib cage is normal to be asymmetric after a trauma. Ribs can't be supported like the other bones so usually we let them heal naturally and treat only the pain.

I recommend sleeping upright to avoid more damage.
For the bruise, you can use cold compresses and over the counter creams for local relief.

The more important thing is to rest, so you help your body in the process of healing.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Dorina Gurabardhi, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
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Answered by
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Dr. Dorina Gurabardhi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 9253 Questions

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