Broken ribs go pop and thunk.
February 3, 2017 9:09 PM   Subscribe

I had a bad fall about a month ago. Broke 3 ribs. I'm slowly healing, doing better. Tho the ribs are around back, I have pain in front from sternum outward. I've been told I probably tore Costochondral cartiledge - the connecting cartiledge to the breastbone and between ribs. I've had good answers from my docs, with one exception... A weird popping or thunking sensation around my ribs in several places.

Sometimes when I move there's a painless pop, or thunk, or clunk kind of feeling in different spots. It feels kind of linear ... Like along a rib. I've googled a lot to find explanations, and get partial answers, but nothing that quite describes what I feel.

Anyone have experience with this?

posted by ecorrocio to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah, not uncommon. Perhaps you'll be luckier, but mine never went away. It doesn't hurt, right? You'll get used to it, and a day will come when, while you will still be aware of it, it won't bother you. No big deal.
posted by halogen at 9:31 PM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Halogen - just where you broke the rib or in other spots too?
posted by ecorrocio at 9:35 PM on February 3, 2017

I fell and broke my leg three years ago, right across the neck of the femur. It was surgically repaired, and when I could walk again, my hip would occasionally pop. It felt and sounded much like cracking a knuckle, but quite a bit louder, presumably because it's a much larger joint. It's been gradually going away. I think it's been several months now since the last time it happened.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:06 AM on February 4, 2017

Best answer: I had the same pops and thinks when I broke two ribs a year ago, so my NotADoctor assessment is that it's probably typical. They did eventually go away, but it took quite some time, six months maybe.
posted by scantee at 6:56 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just getting back to feeling 99.9% normal after breaking three ribs in early December. (side note: do NOT get the flu on top of broken ribs. UGH!) I had the same pops and thunks throughout the healing process. Very strange feeling, especially the thunks. Beginning in January they started to diminish and find that I might have it happen once a week or so especially when exerting myself.
My doctor said this is totally normal.
posted by WalkingHorse at 7:09 AM on February 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I broke a rib lifting weights (spotter walked away) many years ago. Still occasionally get a knuckle-crack-like pop in my sternum.
posted by notsnot at 7:29 AM on February 4, 2017

Data points: took months to go away for me, and years for a friend.
posted by Leon at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2017

I had a pin put into a broken bone beside a joint (in a limb) and I got the "thunk" sensation too, for months afterwards. It felt to me like a ligament was twanging over the end of the pin. In my case it hurt like crazy but gradually hurt less, then not at all, then eventually either stopped or I stopped noticing it. Might be something like that with soft tissue rubbing over the end of a broken bone?
posted by spraypaint at 12:23 PM on February 4, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks bone breakers!
posted by ecorrocio at 4:33 PM on February 4, 2017

Thanks for this question. Costal cartilege injury seems to be the answer for my chest pain - I couldn't find the right answer with google.
posted by bendy at 5:55 PM on February 4, 2017

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