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Athletic Training

Could I have bruised or fractured ribs?

11/26/2007

Question:

I fell and hit my right side on my ribs two nights ago since then there has been constant pressure. It kind of feels like it is swelling although on the outside I can`t tell if it is swollen or not. My ribs are also tender in certain spots when touched. It hurt more to lay down than to sit at first now i can lay down without so much pain. Certain movements also hurt. I just had a baby 10 weeks ago so I tend to suck my stomach in but when I do it kinda pulls like and hurts a little. I`m not hurting really bad or anything some things hurt more than others but like I said it feels like a constant pressure or something since I fell the other night. I didn`t know if it may be something I need to see a doctor about so I thought I would ask before going.

Answer:

It is very important to make sure that the ribs are not broken. It is hard to give you a definitive answer without a physical evaluation. If your ribs are point tender on the bone and if you are having any difficulty taking deep breaths, I would recommend that you follow up with your family physician for further evaluation as soon as possible.

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Response by:

Katrina B Stibel, MA, ATC Katrina B Stibel, MA, ATC
Former:
Assistant Athletic Trainer, Instructor
Department of Athletics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University