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Popping Ribs
February 2001

Q. I broke five ribs three weeks ago and it felt like everything was healing fine, but now I feel a small "popping" in one spot and am wondering if that is a normal part of the healing process.

A. The popping that you feel may not be anything of concern. I would be most interested to know if you are having pain with this popping and if you re-injured the ribs. If there is no pain and there was no re-injury then this very well could be something that is of little consequence. If you have had a re-injury, or if there is increasing pain, or if the symptom lasts a few more weeks, I would certainly return to your doctor for an evaluation.

I tried to find some Web references on the healing of rib fractures, but was unable to do so. Some general references on rib fractures are:

http://home.cyberave.com/~hsquare/ndfiles/nd2180.htm
http://search1.healthgate.com/sport/sport15.shtml

In addition to our own earlier response:

http://www.medinfosource.com/expert/exp2092099d.html

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