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Fractured ribs, pain travelling to left chest, neck area. Should I consult a doctor?

I have had a fractured rib for 5 weeks now. The pain has been bad but had improved after the first couple weeks. Now it seems like it has gotten a little worse and has traveled into my left chest and neck area...a sharp pain. Should I call my doctor? Or should I wait it out, knowing ribs take a while to completely heal.
Tue, 10 Jul 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi Linda,
Thanks for writing in.
If your pain gets better with Motrin or warm compresses, I think you can wait it out. Unless you have been indulging in some vigorous activity, I dont think you need to worry. If the pain persists for > 1 week, it would be better to call your physician.
However, if you have fever, breathlessness or cough, we could be looking at an entirely different set of causes. These would be heart disease and pneumonia which need to be ruled out by a history, examination and some tests.
Hope this helps
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