Possible cracked ribs – visit to A&E?

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  • Possible cracked ribs – visit to A&E?
  • tpbiker
    Member

    Front wheel washed out on a root on sunday, went down hard on my side and been in discomfort ever since, especially when I cough or sneeze.

    I’m of the opinion that given they couldn’t do anything anyway, so theres not much point in getting it checked out, but people are suggesting I should.

    Whats the STW consensus, pop along and wait for a few hours for an xray, or MTFU and take a few painkillers?

    dantsw13
    Member

    Its best to know IMHO. You could have a bone fragment close to something nasty.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    MTFU and take a few painkillers?

    its going to be an uncomfortable few weeks.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    GP for good pain killers if current ones aren’t working.

    Do you feel it life threatening or possibly life threatening? No. Then it’s not an A&E case.

    yunki
    Member

    Unless you are very short of breath, I wouldn’t bother..
    I’ve cracked, bruised and/or broken my ribs a few times, and the only time I received treatment was for a collapsed lung..

    It will be very uncomfortable though

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    take some pain killers.

    If there’s no obvious ribs out of place then no one’s going to do anything other than say ‘mtfu and keep moving’, tbh.

    ianv
    Member

    They cant do anything for bruised/cracked ribs so no real point in going to A+E.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    As above, worth getting a prescription for better painkillers- no mtfu about it, it’ll help you sleep and function and make full breathing easier all of which is good for the healing.

    Sleeping sitting up can be helpful too, though be a wee bit careful- last time, I built myself a sort of nest in bed out of spare pillows and a duvet, had the best night’s sleep i’d had for a week, then discovered I couldn’t get out in the morning 😆

    Agreed I’d head for your doctors, grab some strong painkillers and try not to cough!

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Even if they did x-ray you it’s often not conclusive, only reason to go to A&E is if you have really breathing difficulties as it could be the result of a rib puncturing the lung – that should be fairly obvious though

    mkidley
    Member

    I’ve battered my ribs three times this year, probably not cracked but the doctor told me the first time, just gotta put up with it for 3-4 weeks. May be worth going the doc so they can give you Codeine though.

    Have fun putting socks on! 😆

    rondo101
    Member

    FYI, if they’re broken it’ll get worse before it gets better. Second week was the most painful for me. Doc will prescribe stronger pain killers, which definitely help.

    gazc
    Member

    probably not A&E if its just discomfort like you say. when i did mine i had internal bleeding too which needed a hospital stay but i could barely stand up even with help never mind walk! so if you can carry on maybe see the doc about getting better painkillers till it heals up. good luck!

    I_Ache
    Member

    I go to A&E when I do my ribs (twice in the past 12 months) because they give me some nice strong pain killers and I don’t have to pay the prescription charge.

    Last time they were more worried about the possibility of a punctured lung rather than the broken ribs.

    Best thing I did was get back to doing normal stuff as soon as you can. If you just sit on your arse your ribs wont heal properly and will hurt long term. Take some pain killers and just go riding etc.

    Pretty much all of the above. If you’re short of breath / wheezing go to A&E, if you’re not but worried go to a walk-in or call NHS direct.

    Not a lot you can do otherwise other than rest, carry on as normal where possible, take pain relief and anti-inflams (although one doctor I’ve met doesn’t like them as they impede the body’s natural healing, of which swelling is part).

    I’ve done it more times than I care to remember. 😉

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Just to add. If you do want it checked out, don’t go to A&E, go to the local minor injuries unit. They seem much better geared up for these sorts of injuries and it’ll put less strain on A&E. They are a great middle ground for getting knocks and sprains sorted out and should be promoted more.

    franki
    Member

    I’ve never bothered and I’ve knackered ribs a few times.
    My brother had a huge off in the Peak District though and had to go to hospital with bust ribs. He had pretty bad internal bleeding.

    One time I must have lay funny on the damaged ribs and woke up in the middle of the night in agony. I went to the bathroom to get some water and the next thing I new, I was coming round on the bathroom floor with my wife slapping my face…
    Not a lot of fun cracked / broken ribs. 😥

    In the main I ‘ve found it best to keep busy and try to distract your mind from the pain. Bedtime is the worst. I’ve always carried on working each time.
    Strange how they eventually suddenly seem to mend too – like almost overnight.

    dannyh
    Member

    Not much point in going to A&E. They won’t X-ray you unless you are showing symptoms of something else caused by the ribs (like breathing difficulty – not just pain when breathing).

    If they diagnose broken ribs there’s not much they can do for you anyway.

    Find a way to manage the pain. The last time I did mine on a quick Sunday evening (solo :oops:) night ride.

    I went to work the next day – just dosed up to the eyeballs on ibuprofen and paracetomol.

    One thing – if you do happen to get a cold when your ribs are mending be careful! You must continue to cough through the pain as deliberately not coughing can lead to a chest infection.

    Sneezing on the other hand is not funny. I nearly ended up on my knees in the office after that.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    If you’re short of breath / wheezing go to A&E, if you’re not but worried go to a walk-in or call NHS direct.

    Whatever you do, don’t call NHS Redirect or 111, as soon as you mention that you’ve got some kind of chest pain, their alarm bells will start ringing and you’ll have an ambulance on it’s way to your house before you’ve even put the phone down 😯

    If you can’t get an appointment with your GP, try your local minor injuries unit or walk in centre as they’ll be able to check you over and prescribe pain killers.

    Sneezing on the other hand is not funny. I nearly ended up on my knees in the office after that.

    This. 😥

    If you can’t get an appointment with your GP this year…

    FTFY 😉

    Not much point going to a&be, you’ll just sit there for hours and they’ll do sod all for you, get some pain killers, man up and for the love of god try not to sneeze!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Did the same a few years back. GP checked me out, was a popped rib. Can’t see that A&E will do any more for you than the GP. I’d be very surprised if they can prescribe you anything stronger than the doc.
    And why would anyone want to spend time in an A&E waiting room if they didn’t have to??

    I’ve done mine twice in two years and can only reiterate what others have said about coughing/sneezing in that if you feel one coming just brace yourself and do it as normal to avoid chest infections (imagine what an uncontrolable coughing fit due to infection would feel like!)

    sbob
    Member

    As others have said, there is not a lot they can do for broken ribs.

    Bloody glad I went to the hospital after breaking a few ribs once as they managed to diagnose some incredibly heavy internal bleeding.
    💡

    Reluctant
    Member

    DON’T SNEEZE!!! 😆

    Going against the flow here but get yourself down to AE. We have had two rib injuries in the past 12 months, (honestly we don’t get that many accidents!), and one guy I literally had to drag to AE because it was “only cracked ribs, they won’t do anything”. Both ended up being X-rayed and kept over night. One buy had broken 4 ribs which compromises the chest cavity and can cause sudden breathing failure. The other looked ok but his lung started collapsing and they had to operate. Both were fine in the end but if they hadn’t gone to hospital who knows. Get to hospital and let them tell you you are ok.

    Premier Icon Zaskar93
    Subscriber

    +1 for Reluctant. Don’t get a cold or go overboard with the ground pepper for the next 8 -12 weeks or it’ll really hurt. I went OTB into a rocky gully at speed a couple of years ago and reckon (never clinically proved) I cracked or at least bruised some ribs and unless you feel really unwell or short of breath, coughing up blood etc. then there is sod all the doctors can do other than maybe give you some stronger painkillers; it’s going to take time and it will hurt. I checked my bike, got back on and finished the ride. Apart from trying to take it easy, which is not always easy in itself when you’ve got a small livestock farm to run as well as a full time job, I still managed to ride regularly until the pain subsided.

    dr_death
    Member

    OK, I’m an A&E doc so I suppose I should wade in to this with some sort of answer:

    Rib fractures/breaks/cracks/damage to the bony bits/whatever you want to call it:

    Nothing we can do to fix the broken bones/nothing needs doing to fix the broken bones, therefore firing masses of radiation at your chest is a bad thing. We will probably give you some decent painkillers (if you have been polite and not an arsehole).
    Will take about 4-6 weeks to get better, probably get a bit worse before getting better and will occasionally get worse during the healing process when you sneeze/turn a bit quick.

    Bruised chest wall/bruised ribs/whatever you want to call it:

    As above, no treatment to fix it, no x-ray required, decent analgesia. May get a bit worse before it gets better, will take 3-4 weeks to get better.

    Mutliple rib fractures (>4ish):

    May well require some time in hospital as it will be **** painful and we might ask the nice anaesthetic doctors to put in some sort of nerve block.

    Punctured lung/pneumothorax:

    Will leave you short of breath, will get an x-ray if we suspect it after looking/listening to you, and will probably require me to stick a great big drain in your chest to fix it (my fave ever procedure).

    I think that about covers it….

    dr_death
    Member

    Oh, and I suppose I should cover the A&E/GP/Minor injuries bit as well:

    A lot of minor injuries units will not do chest injuries as they don’t do chest/heads/some other stuff that can potentially kill you.

    GP is a good bet as they can have a listen to your chest and punt you up to us for an X-ray if they think it is required.

    A&E: We’ll turn our hands to almost anything, but bring a book if you ain’t dying…. (early mornings are quietest).

    (Oh, and NEVER RING 111, ABOUT ANYTHING…..
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