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Had fell and hurt rib. Heard popping sound with pain. Have Bronchitis. Suggestions?

I fell 5 days ago and landed on my nightstand corner on my back left side and hurt my rib it hurt then but I thought I just bruised it yesterday it was really bothering me when I went to bed I pushed on it a little and it made a loud popping sound and intense pain I wentto urgent care they x-rayed it and said they think I just bruised it and gave me pain pills I also have Bronchitis the pain is really bad when I cough or do anything how come it made a popping sound and hurts worse now? any suggestions on what else to do I am icing it also.
Asked On : Wed, 27 Feb 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  534
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response

Thank you for your question.

I see that you have had a injury to your left side of chest after a fall 5 day back,

You have pain on coughing and doing anything on the area of a injury. Pain also increased by direct pressure on it while lying on bed on left side.

All this points towards having a rib injury which can be in form of a crack (Fracture) or just a contusion or a bruise of the rib and surrounding muscles.

If the xray has come normal, it can be one of the two possibilities:
1: Rib fractures are very difficult to see on a xray of the chest and require a special view known as oblique view xray. Also since you have bronchitis, it even more difficult to interpret your chest xray which will be full of other chest markings. In most possibility, this seems to be the case of a missed fracture of a rib.
2: second possibility is that there is no fracture at all and only a bruise. Still it is paining you so much.

Solution: Whether or not you have rib fracture or not, treatment remains nearly the same with your symptoms. You need to be on pain killers for some time as well as continue the ice therapy. Also you can use a rib belt which supports your ribs when your chest wall stresses in cases of deep breathing/ sneezing/ coughing/ talking loudly.

Also note that such pains do continue for about 6 weeks from injury whether or not you take pain killers.

I hope this will help you,


Dr Merchant
Answered: Mon, 19 Aug 2013
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General Surgeon Dr. Sandeep Kasbekar's  Response
there is a strong possibility of fracture rib or pleural pain.should take tramadol with paracetamol for 3 to 5 days. if pain persists then intercostal block should be considered.Steam inhalation and mucolytics (bromhexine) is advised and an expectorant to manage bronchitis.
Answered: Sun, 18 Aug 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. Saurabh Gupta's  Response
Feb 2014
Hi and welcome to HCM

Beside icing you can take anti-inflammatory drug like motrin to reduce pain and inflammation. Apply local anti-inflammatory gel 2-3 times a day. Avoid lifting weight and overhead activities.Do not try to do exercise that involve painful muscles. Give proper rest and time for the injury to heal.

Hope this will helps you. Take care
Answered: Mon, 19 Aug 2013
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