I am in the same boat. I either cracked or badly bruised my ribs about two weeks ago. The pain is just now starting to ease up. I went up boarding again for the first time yesterday for a half day. It still hurts, but is getting more livable.
Location: Tasmania, Australia (down-under down-under).
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I broke my collar bone and cracked a couple of ribs at the same time. I don't think they even strap you up these days. Coughing, laughing, sneezing, even breathing hurts like hell, basically anything that expands or stresses the rib cage. It took weeks for the pain to get to a reasonable level but it still caught me out on occasion, like an unexpected sneeze. Funny thing is that I didn't even notice the ribs until the pain from the collar bone eased. My doctor told me it was something to do with the brain focusing on the biggest source of pain. I could actually live with the pain from the ribs more easily than the collar bone.
I am a mechanical engineer and I actually worked on a Rib Plating system at my old job, so I know a decent amount about how they treat it. In most cases, for a cracked rib, they don't do anything. It does hurt a good amount for awhile, but they normally just let it heal. The only time that they decide to go in and use titanium plates, such as the ones I worked on, is if a patient comes in as a trauma and has a completely collapsed chest wall. They will plate the ribs while trying to re-establish the chest cavity because it will make it more stable and allow the patient to heal much faster. At this point, rib plating is a fairly new procedure and it is not being used in all cases because under normal circumstances, your rib can heal on its own.
Did you work at Synthes? Just wondering since I saw you are in PA. They have a great fixation system for rib fractures and it is a great company.
I cracked a rib in my recent motorcycle accident. It was about a month ago. It pretty much feels fine now and my accident was about a month ago. It still hurts to sneeze of cough. Tell him not to get a cold in-between like I did because it was like HELL coughing and sneezing all the time it still is somewhat sore in the mornings but every day it's gets better. I would say that it is about a full six weeks before a complete recovery which is pretty close for me. I feel his pain!
Yep, cracked one a couple years ago and it hurt like hell. Took forever to heal. Spent the rest of the season wearing a Lacrosse rib cage protector to provide some protection. It also put some pressure on it, that oddly, made it feel better. If I am doing anything crazy now, I still sport this just in case. It has saved me a time or two on rails.