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Cracked Ribs

BadBrad Of The Isles
2:13:14 PM
Anyone had any experience with this injury? How long to heal, could you still train/ climb with it etc? Any and all feedback appreciated.

Cheers, Brad.

2:53:42 PM
They take some time, depending on how cracked. IMO it would be quite difficult to train or climb with cracked ribs considering it generally hurts to cough, sneeze or even laugh. I found sitting still is OK though.

3:35:26 PM
Fractured ribs have the reputation for being the fastest bone to unite (1st stage of healing) this stage happening within 2 weeks, however i have treated patients who have still had pain up to 8 weeks post fracture so you may need to be patient. Generally fractured ribs would suggest soft tissue damage and bruising in the area which takes time to heal in its self- good luck!

BadBrad of the Isles
3:55:48 PM
Thats good to know regards stage 1, thanks very much. I havent any bruising so im thinking/ hoping theres no soft tissue or cartilage damage, probably just cracked as laughing, breathing and moving are painful. Laughing is the worst and everyone in the office is being real helpful on that score trying to make me laugh...and succeeding the b@st@rds!
mikl law
5:09:55 PM
As my japanese rugby-playing waiter once said to me-
"Preez do not make me raugh, clacked libs, velly painful"

once you can do anything, stay within the envelope of further damage, but outside the envelope of comfort

5:12:48 PM
I fractured a rib boxing a few years ago and was back to doing most activities (albeit gently) after 2 or 3 weeks - but now and then I'd get some pain for probably a couple of months! No hard climbing though, but very easy routes no problem.

11:01:55 PM
I either cracked or severely bruised a rib mid-climb and could not climb the final pitch - even trying to jug
was excruxiating - could not raise arm . Took a few weeks before felt anything near ok.

When I well and truly broke a rib on either side and punctured and collapsed both lungs (in a car accident)
it took a few months to heal and the ribs are still slightly out of alignment where they joined and
occasionaly feel a bit weird . . .

3:22:18 AM
They hurt like the buggery for a few weeks and then suddenly feel OK as the bones knit. From then on you can do stuff no probs. I cracked a couple of ribs about a month before a skiing/ice climbing trip to Canada. For about 3 weeks I couldn't do anything and I figured I'd blown my bucks on the airfare but they suddenly start to feel better. From then on was I able to take a lot of falls skiing and didn't have too much problem on the ice. Give it a rest until it feels OK (few weeks) and then start back easy.

8:09:53 AM
I'd agree with the consensus. Take it easy for about three (ish) weeks while they hurt then one day you realise that you've been laughing without crying and they're better. It's not worth trying to do anything strenuous like climbing or finding the people that cracked your ribs until they stop hurting.

BadBrad of the Isles
10:21:50 AM
Thanks for the comments all. I had a bit of a trial this morning and i can hangboard and do some exercises on the gymnastic rings if i take it slow and smooth. So it shouldn't see me lose too much finger/ arm strength while they fully heal.

Cheers, Brad.
2:01:52 PM
Have climbed with cracked ribs and it is ok but painful, just load the neorofen up. Just stay off anything steeper than vertical. Roofs are deathly pain. Torn cartlidge is a bit more acute, probably unclimable.

4:45:30 PM
id get sued for advice like that!!

4:50:41 PM
the test i use is; get someone to pinch your nose. if you can feel it, then you are ok to climb. (this of course doesn't work in an alpine setting)

8:29:26 AM
Must confess i climbed for 6 months on a shoulder that occasionally dislocated on route, not that i would ever suggest that was a good idea!
9:05:44 AM
When I played rugby we played with some pretty bad injuries, now I wince at breaking the skin on my fingertips!

11:00:21 AM
On 14/12/2007 sydneymatt wrote:
>When I played rugby we played with some pretty bad injuries, now I wince
>at breaking the skin on my fingertips!

completely off topic but i played rugby with the climbers for the first time (full contact) 2 nights ago and walked away with a black eye, a sore back and bruises down my legs... so many awkward questions at work. lol Still, i got off better than chockie's Joad who left the field with a mouth full of blood and a hole in his lip. Maybe we're all just getting old :) ICE PACKS ALL ROUND!

1:28:29 PM
Im devestated!! i demonstrated some exercises to a patient the other day, went a bit crazy and actually pulled up sore!! i must be getting old
11:16:46 PM
Cracked ribs are horrrrible you can't do anything, you'll get good at "not sneezing". Instead of 'AHH-CHOOO' its more like "oh shit, oh no, oh...ahh-hnnnnnnnnnnnnnn".

I've had 3 cracked ribs. Once from Muay Thai the other '2' from BJJ.
I say '2' because I didn't give the first BJJ injury enough recovery time (only 6 weeks) before sparring again - it got landed on and went crack again.

So give it rest, more rest plus get some soft tissue work to increase the healing and reduce scar tissue. I was also told to gradually get movement back into the area by gently stretching and deep breathing. If it hurts, then stop.
The hit at Muay Thai moved my rib enough to slightly rotate the lower vertebra at that rib level, a Chiro sorted it out. (sorry to sound dramatic, just letting you know what to look out for if you end up with back pain and reduced R.O.M)

I still get weird sensations when loading those ribs/intercostals/serratus ant' etc and its almost a year since the last one.

5:08:58 PM
Not in the same league but similar, ... I did an intercostal muscle in (while abseiling in to a climb the other day!), so I can commiserate!
The take home message from my experience is, don't gyrate with a heavy pack on while clearing rope snarls within overhanging territory!
The Dr tells me a fortnight at least till things settle down.
I doubt it will affect my fitness as that is at an ordinary level at the mo anyway, ... though I was hoping to improve it ...

There are 19 messages in this topic.


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