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Old     (timelinex)      Join Date: Oct 2014       10-13-2016, 4:26 PM Reply   
Long story short version of the question:

Has anyone had tears in the lower rib area between ribs and/or on the cartilage the rib connects to? How long did it take for the swelling to come down and you to be back at 100% ? It has been 6 weeks since my original injury and there is still a very prominent bump and swelling.

Full story if interested:

I was wake boarding 6 weeks ago and was putting on a show for family that was visiting from out of town. I had a good set and then I tried to go as big as possible on a regular wake jump. I did my hardest progressive cut and I was leaning so far back through the wake (not letting up on the edge) that when I pushed and got the lift I got off balance and spooked. So I let go of the handle like an idiot and landed on my BACK left side ribs.

I immediately felt a very uncomfortable feeling in my FRONT lowest rib, but at first didn't think anything of it. I have fractured(or bruised) an upper rib on the other side before and that was PAIN. This was just very uncomfortable and a little pain. After coming in from the water I felt a large knot around the area of where my lowest front left rib would attach to the cartilage. It was actually visible and a 1/4 the size of an actual ping pong ball. Sneezing would kill, but everything else would mostly just feel like tightness and be uncomfortable. 5 days later I called my orthopedic doctor and they said they do everything but rib injuries and to call the family doctor about it. By then the inflammation went down severely and the knot was only noticeable if careful felt for by the hand. I scheduled an appointment with my doc and had xrays done. Doc said there was nothing on xrays and that it's probably just ripped inter coastal cartilage/muscle and possibly when I landed on the back it pushed my ribs up front and slightly popped the rib out of the cartilage and popped back in (which ripped stuff in the area).

Fast forward a few days (about 12 days after injury). It was all great. There was still just barely any noticeable notch and all pain mostly went away unless I was specifically trying to find an awkward position or if someone pressed on it firmly. I went to the gym and on my 2nd set of heavy shoulder shrugs (didn't feel like it affects my ribs and didn't hurt doing it) I felt a little something in that area. After the set I went to check and low and behold I am back to having a big bulge there and tightness. Dang!

This time around the swelling still has not gone down.It's been a month since it was re-agitated and it's as big as ever. It doesn't hurt at all, unless I purposely try to hurt it. It does feel tight in that area though. I've been wakeboarding twice since but I don't do any jumps and just practice my switch and cuffed riding. I went to a chiropractor for the first time a week ago and he was shocked with how big it was for how long ago it happened. He did say it still just feels like swelling though and not anything popped out. He did a few things but admitted that he didn't really know how to help.

Has anyone else had similar? It's so frustrating that I just don't know exactly whats wrong or how long it will take to heal. I definitely don't want this enormous bump sticking out forever either!
Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-13-2016, 6:01 PM Reply   
If you break the connection b/w rib and cartilage, it might never heal, because cartilage does not regenerate. I don't know the exact nature of your injury, but I broke mine in 1994 on my first day ever snowboarding (got wiped out by an out-of-control skier), and it still occasionally gives me trouble. Mine was right where the cartilage breastplate/sternum connects to the rib in front. If yours is like mine, it might form a calcium "knot" that sort of bonds it back together, but this is fragile and will easily break again. Mine was prone to movement and subsequent pain for years. Now, 22 years later, it doesn't move and I usually don't think about it. Unfortunately, the time that it kills me is when I'm surfing (real surfing in the ocean, not fa.. I mean wake surfing). There is still a knot there and it healed back sort of poking out a half inch, and so when I lie on my belly to paddle into a wave, it jabs my ribcage and is excruciating to the point of somewhat ruining the experience.

I don't recall a super large amount of swelling like you describe, but it was 22 years ago. I do remember I kept the rib belt that I got from the doc, and for years I used this for reinforcement to keep it all in place while doing mobility-intensive activities like boarding or whatever. Good luck with yours, I hope it heals up as well as possible. At least you are not having lots of pain; that was not the case for me.
Old     (granddaddy53)      Join Date: Dec 2013       10-14-2016, 6:03 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by timelinex View Post
Long story short version of the question:

Has anyone had tears in the lower rib area between ribs and/or on the cartilage the rib connects to? How long did it take for the swelling to come down and you to be back at 100% ? It has been 6 weeks since my original injury and there is still a very prominent bump and swelling.

Full story if interested:

I was wake boarding 6 weeks ago and was putting on a show for family that was visiting from out of town. I had a good set and then I tried to go as big as possible on a regular wake jump. I did my hardest progressive cut and I was leaning so far back through the wake (not letting up on the edge) that when I pushed and got the lift I got off balance and spooked. So I let go of the handle like an idiot and landed on my BACK left side ribs.

I immediately felt a very uncomfortable feeling in my FRONT lowest rib, but at first didn't think anything of it. I have fractured(or bruised) an upper rib on the other side before and that was PAIN. This was just very uncomfortable and a little pain. After coming in from the water I felt a large knot around the area of where my lowest front left rib would attach to the cartilage. It was actually visible and a 1/4 the size of an actual ping pong ball. Sneezing would kill, but everything else would mostly just feel like tightness and be uncomfortable. 5 days later I called my orthopedic doctor and they said they do everything but rib injuries and to call the family doctor about it. By then the inflammation went down severely and the knot was only noticeable if careful felt for by the hand. I scheduled an appointment with my doc and had xrays done. Doc said there was nothing on xrays and that it's probably just ripped inter coastal cartilage/muscle and possibly when I landed on the back it pushed my ribs up front and slightly popped the rib out of the cartilage and popped back in (which ripped stuff in the area).

Fast forward a few days (about 12 days after injury). It was all great. There was still just barely any noticeable notch and all pain mostly went away unless I was specifically trying to find an awkward position or if someone pressed on it firmly. I went to the gym and on my 2nd set of heavy shoulder shrugs (didn't feel like it affects my ribs and didn't hurt doing it) I felt a little something in that area. After the set I went to check and low and behold I am back to having a big bulge there and tightness. Dang!

This time around the swelling still has not gone down.It's been a month since it was re-agitated and it's as big as ever. It doesn't hurt at all, unless I purposely try to hurt it. It does feel tight in that area though. I've been wakeboarding twice since but I don't do any jumps and just practice my switch and cuffed riding. I went to a chiropractor for the first time a week ago and he was shocked with how big it was for how long ago it happened. He did say it still just feels like swelling though and not anything popped out. He did a few things but admitted that he didn't really know how to help.

Has anyone else had similar? It's so frustrating that I just don't know exactly whats wrong or how long it will take to heal. I definitely don't want this enormous bump sticking out forever either!
They never totally go away, got them multiple times with old jackets water skiing. Mostly they heal and don't bother you over time but you have to take nsaids and ice for immediate symptoms and you pushed your real injury too soon at gym cause it looked and felt better.
'I went surfing in Hawaii,should be called paddling, took 5 to 6 days for those rib spots to stop aching when paddling, so they never permanently go away.
Old     (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       10-14-2016, 8:55 AM Reply   
get an mri
Old     (timelinex)      Join Date: Oct 2014       10-15-2016, 10:45 AM Reply   
Did you guy's injuries feel extremely painful, or just uncomfortable? Mine was never that painful, just uncomfortable. Which was always the weird part. That's why I'm not sure if it was ever dislocated at all or if it's just the muscles in that area and that led to some scarring. Neither my doctor or chiropractor know exactly what it could be and my orthopedic doctor doesn't deal with ribs. I think it's because there isn't anything you can do with ribs, but I just want to know what to expect and when I can go back to full use of my body.

I know an MRI would show more of what is going on, but they are pretty expensive and I'm really not sure I need one.....
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-16-2016, 1:02 PM Reply   
You would know if it dislocated because you would have barely been able to breathe. You would have had to crawl on the platform and lie there because when you moved it would pop in and out and feel like a knife going into your lung. And no it never gets back to 100%
Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-16-2016, 8:56 PM Reply   
^ pretty much agreed. Mine hurt like h*LL for several weeks until it began to heal up, laughing or coughing were excruciating, and I'm talking worse pain in comparison to other injuries like breaking my jaw in 2 places or fracturing my spine. And yeah, even later on, when it popped out of place, something like that ^.
Yours sounds different maybe.
Old     (roosm)      Join Date: Sep 2014       10-17-2016, 12:44 AM Reply   
I broke or cracked a rib on a failed backroll attempt a couple of years back.
It was in september I think and since healing a bone usually takes 6 weeks and ribs usually take longer and I live in Sweden where this time of year we have 50F both water and air temps I called it a season and put the boat in storage.

The injury was VERY painful at first, it took a few days to even be able to get out of bed without being in unbearable pain. Then it hurt coughing and laughing for antoher few weeks. Memory tells me I was very careful with getting back to the gym and so on.

Next year one of the first sessions of the year I took a hard fall and felt pain in my rib again. Then it had been a good 8 months since the injury.
After that, never felt a thing.

I would say the number one rule for bone injury is do NOTHING for 6 weeks. No gym, no wakeboard, you might go for a walk and maybe a run.
Thing is with bone injury that you get a crack or a broken bone and new bone start to form in the "gap" between the old bones. This new bone is soft.
If you move the bone, like breath, cough, laugh, get out of bed not to mention go wakeboarding or going to the gym and do anything that affects or rib cage (Meaning basically every possible drill) it will (normally) hurt. Even if might not be a really painful thing after the first few days, it normally hurts.
The thing that hurts is your newly formed, soft, bone breaking all over again.

Think of it as this. If this were your leg you would have had it in a plaster cast for 6 weeks. Try to treat your rib cage as if it was in a plaster cast. If it weren't for the fact that it would kill you since you wouldn't be able to breath the doctors probably would have put a plaster cast around your rib cage.

And if you do breath, or cough or laugh, better make it 8 or 12 weeks before going back to wakeboarding or the gym.
Also make sure to take deep breaths as otherwise you might have it heal in a bad position.

Just hang in there and you should be good to go next year.
As for now, I would just stay real still for 10 weeks. I know it sucks, but otherwise you will just keep re-injuring it.

Also, you should probably go back to your doctor.

Mike
Old     (cheesydog)      Join Date: Mar 2009       10-31-2016, 7:00 PM Reply   
broke my rib cartilage a few years back, prob the worst pain Ive had, and every little thing would hurt it, like I needed help to get out of bed or a chair for a couple weeks. About 3 months before I could do anything remotely physical. 3 months of very light wakeboarding. Id say it was maybe 9 months before I could ride like I normally do. Rib injuries suck. Don't aggravate it.

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