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Recovering from broken ribs

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
    My first ribs were 1987; not broken so, I refused pain meds( foolish, but, I was very inexperienced with pain; nearly od'd on exta strength Execedrin; a narcotic would have been more effective, and allowed me to sleep util the pain had subsided; as it was, I could not lie down to sleep , so, read my first Dick Francis books they most definitely made the night easier to endure!
    Sometimes we need a little more help than OTC can provide. So, looking on the bright side, you had time to read a wonderful author. I started reading him in 1982 :-)


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by sschuessler View Post
      Luckily I was still a teen bc doctors said my chances of recovery if I had been over 50 would have been about 25%... not good.
      I'll turn 54 next Wednesday ... so glad my ribs aren't as bad as yours were!

      Thanks for the advice. I'll take it slow.



      • #23
        Two broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. Forty eight hours in the trauma unit and home. Sucked big time until about day 12. Did all my lung exercises and lung fully inflated one week out. Went back to work two weeks after accident and was back in the saddle 23 days out (although I only lasted about 30 minutes).

        Bought a Tippery vest which helped immensely. I caught a hoof to the back ribs when my horse stumbled, almost went down and I went off. Innocent fall but he was in between a jump and me and scrambled to get out of the way. Had good and bad hours which then proceeded to good and bad days. Cold, rainy days sucked for the first eight weeks. After that, no problems.

        I was in my mid 40's when that happened.


        • #24
          My wife came off last November and broke two ribs. She's a physician and was treated by one of her partners. The main medication used was Tincture of Time. It is the most painful, most frustrating, most difficult medicine of all to take. It's also the most effective.

          Follow your physicians orders. Take you pain medication!!! Unless your name is Arnold or Bruce or Daniel you're not a "superhero." Pain will extend the healing process. Palliation of pain speeds the healing process. Find out what works for you and use it.

          Good luck in your recovery.

          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


          • Original Poster

            thanks, G.... You are right about Tincture of Time being difficult. I have all the patience in the world when it comes to resting/rehabbing an injured horse. For myself, not so much. I'm learning how to rest ... I just wish I didn't have to overdo it before learning my limits. The new pain meds are working better, and my BP is pretty much staying at my normal (low) range.

            CAH, my vest arrived last week. I'll be wearing it when I get back on. I'm not going to rush.


            • #26
              Well I broke 9 ribs and collapsed a lung several years ago. Spent 10 lovely days in the hospital and was so desperate to get out of the place I was ready to leave whether they said I could or not !

              They were pretty 'conservative' with pain meds in the hospital, and I didn't fill my prescription for pain meds when I got home. Too afraid to spend the $ since I wasn't going to get paid for several weeks since I couldn't work. (Or actually, I don't think I had the $ period, anyway....) So in the end I spent about 5 weeks in rather a lot of pain, and 3 more weeks pretty damned uncomfortable.

              Had to sleep sitting up for several weeks and was grateful beyond belief when I could finally lie down again (about 6 weeks after I got home.)

              I don't think I really have any after effects aside from maybe some muscles that tend to pinch up, not too far from where the chest tube went in. Might not be related to broken ribs though, could be just bad posture.
              "Friend" me !



              • #27
                Fifteen years ago I broke all my ribs on the right side and my shoulder in nine places. I suggest a pillow for the ribs (brace for a sneeze or cough) and time for recovery. The ribs healed easily, the shoulder took almost nine months.
                There are not many things I can't do now - just took some time.


                • #28
                  Many years ago, cantering a colt, he fainted and fell with me.
                  He laid there for a bit on my leg, that felt broken below the knee.
                  Once he woke up and got off my leg, that was not broken after all, I found two broken ribs.

                  That was August and we were riding colts in the morning and farming in the afternoons, plowing and sowing.
                  I didn't ride for a few weeks, but we still had to get the winter wheat in.
                  Pulling myself up on the big tractor and getting off was the hardest on those ribs.
                  Best I remember, they quit hurting by the last of September and they have never bothered me at all.

                  What I remember the most is that, as bad as it hurt to move or breathe with broken ribs, once healed, you may completely forget the whole thing.

                  I hope yours heal just as quickly and well a mine did.


                  • #29
                    Broke three ribs right at the spine when I was 14 or 15 courtesy of a surly pony that LOVED to double barrel people. I still had to go to school and I still showed though we got real creative on mounting and dismounting. I was doing Western Pleasure so thankfully nothing strenuous.

                    Next time I broke ribs it was all of them and some were in pieces courtesy of a track horse. Lung was punctured and I had a myriad of injuries to go with those ribs so I was in a coma for the first 3 weeks of that healing. Holding a pillow to my chest when I needed to cough was about the only way I was okay. I was also careful to sit if I could before I coughed or sneezed as a couple of times I did faint with the pain.

                    Take it slow!! Do the exercises and don't be afraid of the pain meds. Now it's been a few years and I don't have any residual pain from either accident. I have fallen off since the last accident though and I really do splat and lost all sorts of bounce or spring.
                    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                    Originally Posted by alicen:
                    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                    • #30
                      I broke 2 ribs last summer when I came off a horse that spooked (for a legitimate reason). It took me 3 days to see a doctor -- I was busy at a horse show and I figured I was just bruised. Anyway, I had fluid in my lung, too. The doctors thought I was 1)crazy and 2)had a high theshold for pain. My GP said, "Typically when older women come in with rib fractures, it is due to domestic abuse. However in your case, I know you are horse crazy!"

                      What I found helpful was staying vertical as much as possible. Horizontal was not my friend. Of course that meant I just went to work since I might as well be occupied given that time was going to take care of the ribs. This impressed the heck out of my boss and left my staff in a state of wonderment. I got a superwoman reputation, but really sitting up was the most comfortable thing I could do.

                      I agree with the comments that following the doctor's order and not riding too soon is a good idea. Also avoid any causes for laughing, coughing or sneezing in the first few weeks.
                      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks for the advice

                        I had another followup with the doc this week. He told me I can walk (even jog, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that) and do lower body work, just no upper body stuff yet. Sometimes I feel like I can almost walk normally

                        The blood pressure is better; less pain = lower BP.

                        It will still be awhile before I ride, and I'm starting out on a dead-quite school horse with easy gaits.