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West and South Asia From Turkey to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Ladakh and Bangladesh
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats

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  • 1 Post By markharf

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Old 25 Jun 2019
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Broken ribs help

Does anybody have knowledge or can share this with someone who has knowledge of broken ribs?
I had a low speed tumble yesterday and saw the local doctor today near Dharamshala,India.
He has taken X-rays and says I have two or three broken ribs that are detached from my sturnham. They will not heal together and will remain detached forever. He says I will no longer be able to lift any weights and I am no longer able to ride my Enfield bullet.i require 4 to 6 weeks complete bed rest.
He was a helpful as he could be but also said he was only a general practitioner an maybe I should get a second opinion but I am stranded in my hotel room eating pain killers.
If anyone knows anyone that has knowledge on this matter please share as I am quite concerned about what he has told me.
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Old 25 Jun 2019
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Not helping with your pain, but some information.

Take care
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Old 25 Jun 2019
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It's impossible to tell based on this description how serious your injury--and therefore prognosis--really are.

I've had separated ribs a time or two, and the pain certainly didn't last forever or prevent me from returning to all sort of activities, including riding, lifting, climbing, diving, and more. The pain can be intense, and coughs, laughter, and especially sneezes become somewhat terrifying....for a while. Taping the ribs seems to provide a bit of partial relief, but I always had a feeling this was largely psychological.

The obvious thing to do is to get a more knowledgeable opinion. You don't say anything about your nationality, insurance, ability to pay for treatment, home, family or other support system--all of which are relevant. In your position I'd want to take it easy for as long as I could stand, then get home and allow people to care for me as much as I--or they--could manage. Continue to explore the edges of what you're able to do without exacerbating the injury. And definitely get a proper assessment by a qualified medical professional, whatever that might mean in wherever you live.

Most medical stuff does tend to resolve itself, even when the acute phase feels eternal. That's worth keeping in mind.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 26 Jun 2019
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From my time with broken ribs:

The pain killers are so you can cough. You need to do that to clean out the stale air that sits in unused corners of your lungs. Deep breathing helps. If you fail to do this you can get a lung infection.

The hardest thing I found was sleeping. Could not get comfortable lying down as I'd roll over during the night and .. pain. I found sleeping in a chair .. in my sleeping bag was best. But elevate your legs so the feet are on the same level as your bum. This last bit avoids gout.

Good luck with yours .. sounds more serious than mine.
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Old 26 Jun 2019
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I've broken ribs in the past.

I was never told they would never heal though. But be aware of taking medical advice off the internet. Get a second professional opinion. Pay for an X-ray if you haven't had one.

Broken ribs are Very painful and absolutely NOTHING medically you can do apart from wait and see and don't take any further risks until they are healed.

Diet and lifestyle will make a difference. Take Calcium and vitamin D3 and eat a healthy diet to promote healing.

DO NOT SMOKE. Smoking inhibits bone healing and bone growth in general.

Same goes for too much alcohol.

Best of luck to you. Hope you're well soon.
Did some trips.
Rode some bikes.
Fix them for a living.
Can't say anymore.
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Old 26 Jun 2019
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Thank you

It’s really nice and reassuring to hear from people who have had similar injuries. The x rays are being taken to a specialist orthopaedic consultant tomorrow and hopefully I will get some detailed advice. I really was in a state of panic yesterday due to the pain I was in. Modern pain killers are a wonderful thing and it all seems a bit more manageable now. Thanks for your helpful messages. It really helped to hear them. Cheers.
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Old 26 Jun 2019
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For those of us who value action and adventure, major illness or injury attacks our sense of who we are in the world. It's not just pain or discomfort--it's being deprived of the ability to enact our core identities.

Fortunate, then, that the norm is recovery--I got over my malaria and will doubtless come back from recent knee surgery; you'll almost certainly regain normal function in time. But in the accumulation of insults to physical well-being lies eventual disability...or so it seems to me now at age 64. Once you're back in the saddle, try to avoid repeats as much as possible.

As a disincentive, think of slow-learning me if it helps; I had to get malaria twice, break/detach ribs more often than that, endure multiple concussions, mountain bike crashes and similar indignities before gradually beginning to live my life differently (some of the time, to some extent).

Heal well and post back here in a month!

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Old 26 Jun 2019
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I have broken 2 ribs and also had a separation playing rugby.
The broken ribs were far more painful and it was 8 weeks before I returned to playing. The separation healed quite quickly but I ended up with a popped cartilage which is basically a lump sticking out of your ribs - it’s not painful but looks a bit odd (goes with all my other lumps and bumps
As for recovery, no problem - I played plenty of rugby afterwards and competed in power lifting competitions.
Good luck
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Old 26 Jun 2019
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I seem to crack one of my ribs - left hand side 3rd from the bottom every couple of years. It takes about 1 week for the pain to diminish noticeably and 4 weeks for it to be almost gone - it is still a little sore after 6 weeks. I break the same one each time - it is weaker than its neighbours clearly.

As regards treatment - as has been said - deep breathing is a good way to avoid infections (the infections can be pretty serious if I remember correctly) - and should, ideally, be done 10 times per hour. It will hurt but you can do it slowly so it isn’t too bad. Strapping of the chest is not recommended as it makes it difficult to take deep breathes easily.

Coughing and sneezing are not fun - all I can say is that you need to brace yourself - support your ribs as if they were strapped and try not to hold a sneeze in as that raises the pressure internally and is excruciating. Laughing isn’t much fun either but that seems to make my brothers want to make me laugh all the more - I wouldn’t do it to them (not true - I am a bad person, I know). You should try to limit the lifting you do as far as possible.

Sleeping is difficult and you may struggle to find a comfortable position - sleeping whilst sitting in a chair may be a good one for you.

They do get better. This is all very fresh in my mind as you may have gathered. Hope you mend soon.

As no-one else has asked - is the bike OK?
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