HomeAnswersOrthopedician and Traumatologymuscle injuryWhat is the possible treatment for a rib injury after a fall?

I have pain when I do deep breathing following a fall. Do I need surgery?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Anuj Gupta

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 7, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 12, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have been suffering a sports injury following a fall. I suspect it to be a combination of muscle strain and separated false rib cartilage that has slipped up behind another rib only on my right side. I also noticed a visible lump on my right chest wall when my ribs are contracted or expanded. And also, there is a visible deficit in my ribs near my chest wall when my ribs are contracted. Additionally, when my ribs are expanded, the ribs and cartilage appear misaligned. I have pain or discomfort at most movements, including deep breathing. At the time of the fall and immediately after, I did not have any pain but just discomfort. I started having severe pain after that. I underwent an X-ray for the same to look for fractured ribs, and none was found. I have a history of anxiety, depression, and ADHD, and I have been taking tablet Buspirone, tablet Desvenlafaxine only when I need instant relief, and tablet Trazodone. What could this be? What can I do to get this fixed, ideally without surgery?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Anuj Gupta


Welcome to iCliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern. Kindly add more about the following;

1. What is your age?

2. When did this injury happen?

3. Has your pain reduced since the injury?

Also, please attach the X-rays to analyze the condition better.

Revert with the requested information.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response.

1. I am 36 years old.

2. This injury occurred around a week ago.

3. The first four days after the injury, I had severe pain; after that, the pain got a little better. But for the past few days, the pain has been the same. I am wearing a rib brace and avoiding anything that causes pain to the best of my ability.

I will attach the X-rays as soon as possible.

Answered by Dr. Anuj Gupta


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Whenever there is a chest injury, the first thing to worry about is the possibility of a lung injury. In your case, since it has been a week and you are walking around comfortably, the possibility of a lung injury is faint. Secondly, the injury to the ribs takes a lot of time to heal. Even if there is no fracture, it takes a lot of time for the pain to subside. The reason behind this is that we cannot immobilize our chest as one cannot stop breathing, so the chest keeps on moving. Give yourself some time, and definitely, your pain will subside. It will take somewhere between three to six weeks. Please revert with the X-ray reports so that we can discuss this further and come up with the diagnosis. I hope I have answered your query.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Anuj Gupta
Dr. Anuj Gupta

Spine Surgery

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