SPINAL FRACTURES: PAIN IN THE RIBS.: Hi, I have... - Bone Health

Bone Health

4,595 members1,922 posts


Sunseaandsand profile image
35 Replies

Hi, I have 4 spinal fractures, 2 of which are in the thoracic region.

My most recent one is in T9.

At the time of my fracture I experienced severe pain around my front right rib in addition to the (pain in my back) this in the rib then became more of a burning sensation.

At the present time I am feeling burning pain and terrible feelings of movement around The bottom of my right rib, this is causing me added pain and discomfort that I could do without..The problem increases when I am on my feet and move, but decreases when I lay down.

My GP has done blood tests which are ok and has now referred me for an ultrasound. Liver and gall bladder are in this area but I have strong feelings it's more related to the fracture than the internal organs

I still do not know what is causing this and it's so uncomfortable its driving me crazy it adds to my low mood.

I am so eager to hear from anyone who has experienced anything similar, or has an opinion on the matter.

35 Replies

I also have pain in my ribs, not sure whether it's as a result of my spinal fractures or my costochondritis. I have difficutly standing and walking without support on both sides. So frustrating.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to

Hi good to hear from you.

Can I ask how long you have had your fractures?

Where are they and do you have Osteoporosis?

My pain is worsened by any sort of movement as is the pain in my back which of course I know is the result of my fractures.

This in my rib is also worse if when sitting I lean forward at at all.

I have wondered if it could be that with losing height and my spine shortening perhaps there is now less room for everything else.

in reply to Sunseaandsand

It was my fractures that determined my Osteoporosis 3 years ago, so technically I shouldn't be having pain from them. Without sorting through a heap of papers I can't remember what position my fractures are and I suspect I might have a few more added. My worst pain seems to be in the large bone between my hips and spine, don't whether it is part of my spine or pelvic.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to

Why have they not done scans??If you suspect you have had furtherfractures then they should be at least finding out!!

Do you have osteoarthritis in the hips?

I have it in my spine and this only adds to the pain.

veriterc profile image

Like you, I have same problem which is driving me mad. Doctors' solution is to take more pain killers - and then they tell us we are becoming addicted to them! Now discover that when I was given MRI Scan itl didn't cover the ribs - only the T8 area. I've made an appointment at a pain clinic - it's on NHS but at a very good private hospital. If consultant has anything useful to say I'll let everyone know. Incidentally did anyone see letter in Telegraph yesterday, saying how much more sensible is the French system - saving our time and health service funds.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to veriterc

Hi thanks for the information.

Would be really interested to hear your results so please let me know.

If massive doses of oxycodone don't help then I don't know what Will!!

I am in the process of coming down on my meds and at the moment are suffering with withdrawal effects.

I am having to do this as yes I had become tolerant to them and owing to my body weight being so low I can not go up any higher.

Also when another fracture occurs I would have nothing to help.

It's a no win situation.

I have not seen the article you have mentioned but would be interested to know how to access it.

veriterc profile image
veriterc in reply to Sunseaandsand

If you want the full article I would imagine it should be on the Daily Telegraph's website, but there is an outline on aftercancers.com/simple-way...

Rians-nan profile image

I too have a fracture at T9 and suffer from pain in my ribs, mostly on the left side. I had scans etc but nothing sinister showed up. My rheumatologist said it is to do with the fracture and to rest and take painkillers. Not always that simple though, is it?

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Rians-nan

Hi, and thanks for your reply.

You may have read that I am now mostly in a wheelchair.I do move around the house with the help of walking aids, it is important to keep moving for the rest of the body.

It does seem to trigger it when I move.

As for painkillers I have been on a massive dose of oxycodone which has not helped this problem in the slightest!!

Keep in touch.

in reply to Sunseaandsand

By the way, my fractures are at L1 L2 L3 and T12. I use Fentanyl Patches 25mcg and 12mcg, Oramorph and Paracetamol. I have had 2 iinfusions of Zolodrenic Acid after trying Alendronate and Risedronate.

Debs4 profile image

Hi Sunseaandsand

What lovely memories your name conjures up. Thank you 😊

Sorry to hear you are experiencing this additional pain to already painful fractures. I have had 3 spinal fractures and the last one at t11 has left me with pain I’ve never had with the first 2. It seems to be at the bottom of my back ribs to the sides. After my fall when I fell from a chair backwards and landed awkwardly against kitchen units I felt pain so bad it made me cry out every time I got up from sitting it lying down. This was in February and I am left with this weird pain every time I lean over or bend forward slightly. It’s really hard to describe but it almost feels like the ligaments might have been torn or something like that. When I’ve mentioned it it’s been ignored and shrugged off as bruised bone or something and no X-ray of that area has been taken. It’s worrying me a lot as it worsens during the day and I get quite irritable from the additional pain as it builds up. My poor OH! May I ask how your last fracture happened?

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Debs4

Hi Debs,

I don't mind at all you asking about my fracture.

I am new to this forum and do not know if you are able to see conversations I have had with others.

My first fracture was in T11 this occurred about 8 years ago my pain lasted for 3 months and then I began to make a slow recovery, this happened it is thought by coughing as I had a very bad chest infection at the time.

The 2nd happened 2 days into a Holiday when I woke went to move and found I could not for the excruciating pain I was in.

Exactly a month later and on my birthday I was still in immense pain and movement was severely restricted, in frustration I went to lean slightly over the wash basin and I felt the 3rd one go.

These two are in L2 and L4 which I am told are the strongest bones in the spine and usually fracture as a result of an accident.

These occurred in May and June 2017 and had a big impact on my life.

I got around on crutches and had to be pushed in a wheelchair for any distances.

Towards the end of 2018 the pain began to increase to such a level I could not stand for longer than a few minutes.

In December I had become mostly dependent on the wheelchair.

Then in January it got that over 3 days I could move less and less until late one evening my husband went to help me out of bed and I could not move any part of my body I could not speak or even cry the pain was horrific.

It has put the fear of God in me.

All four of my fractures have occured AFTER bone treatments not before.

I am 65years old with bones half the density of a 45 year old.

Statistics show that 95% of 85 year old women have stronger bones than myself.

The hardest thing for me is that of my loss of independence.

My T scores are -4.6 in my spine and -4.2 in the hips.

Please be more carefully as reading your posts it sounds as if you are accident prone.

As a matter of further interest Ihave been out today and have not moved out of my wheelchair and I have not felt pain or movement around my rib until I returned home and moved from wheelchair to chair and walked across the room with my walking frame.

I am becoming more convinced it has in someway got to be related to the spine.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to Sunseaandsand

So sorry to hear your story, the pain and loss of independence must be so difficult to handle. It does sound as though it is related to the spine. I really hope you get some resolution with it soon. Do you ever have a sensation of clicking or grinding? It’s sounds weird but that’s what I get so just curious. Mine is definitely trauma related so probably entirely different . I hadn’t looked at your history and so didn’t realise you’ve not been an accident magnet like me. Yes, I used to be a bit of a daredevil and probably took risks on my bike. The hit by the juggernaut on the M20 couldn’t have been avoided though, my husband was driving and it swerved into our lane. I thought we were going to die. The last one in February was my own stupid fault, my husband was bleeding badly from a cut and the first aid kit was stored on a shelf too high for me. I panicked as he has a blood disorder which means he can’t stop bleeding, and got a chair to reach it. I fell backwards from chair height and landed heavily and awkwardly against the kitchen units. It would have been 2 1/2 years since the fracture caused by the juggernaut. I was deviated and so angry with myself and still am. You are right though I need to be very careful! We are going to Italy tomorrow and have been put in a situation where we have to hire a car. I am so nervous. My husband is a good driver but it’s the other drivers! It’s really casting a shadow for me. I’m 64 and my Rheumatologist told me my bones are very bad for my age. Last Dexa I have only Osteo in my spine and osteopenia in my hips. When first diagnosed 5 years ago my spine was -2.9 and is now an average of 3.2 but -3.8 in L12 & 11. I’ve been urged to take the meds but still hesitating. Do you mind me asking what your scores were originally and what meds you were on and for how long and what has caused your Osteoporosis?

My heart goes out to you. I imagine you started out taking the meds with relative hope and faith that they would work only to find they haven’t. Hopefully you didn’t get too many side effects though?

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Debs4

Hi I don't have any clicking or grinding just just the burning pain and this awfull movement.I put the post on because for whatever reason they happen they will probably give the same problems.

I had a feeling of movement in my lower back for some months before my last fracture in January.

That has now gone but it was nothing compared to this.I have lost height and wonder if things are getting squashed with the spine being shorter.My husband things that's a possibility.It sounds like you really have had a traumatic time and it's no wonder you have fears of the other drivers.Try to think of the lovely time you will both have together. I'm sure once there you will be so taken up with the whole experience you will be able to relax.

I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis 15 years ago,they are unable to give me the causeonly say that they do not know why I am losing it so quickly. The treatments have all given me very bad side effects,unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones that does not tolerate the meds well. I had Ibandronate injections 3 monthly and was taken off them because of side effects I ended up seeing other consultants for years before they realised it was the injectionscausing my problems,they put me on Forsteo for 2 years which caused a different set of problems. Raloxofine came next with eye problems(possible blood clot) my GP stopped prescribing it as he followed NICE guidelines , but it was the hospital who prescribed it in the first place. I then went back on the ibandronate very reluctantly and came off again because of side effects.

I had my first Prolia injection in February and have had different side effects over the 4 months since.

I don't know what to do next, I just can not put up with the side effects as well as the pain from the fractures.

I'm told I'm at very high risk of more fractures.

It seems a no win situation for me.

I eagerly await a treatment for the bones with little or no side effects!!

Have a great holiday, take extra care around slippy floors.

My bone density before treatments was -2.7 spine and -2.4 hips.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to Sunseaandsand

I owe you an apology! Just read your previous posts which answered all my questions so sorry for asking you to repeat yourself. Just wondering what your diet and supplement routine is? There are lots very knowledgeable people on this site who meticulously take certain supplements and eat certain food. I had a terrible diet when I worked full time and totally neglected myself really. I’ve take supplements for the last five years but only just think I may have got it right i.e taking D & K magnesium/calcium, C and a B complex. Bones have still deteriorated but maybe not as much as if I’d not taken them, it’s hard to tell!

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Debs4

Hi no apology needed!!

I was not sure what can be viewed by others but I am now familiar with the site.

My diet I consider has always been a healthy one, but still with the unhealthy foods thrown in.

I've always made sure of the fruit more than the veg,and always start the day with breakfast usually cereals fresh or dried fruit or porridge.Im a great lover of figs dates and can eat them at any time of day.

I can not think of anything that I don't like to eat but I am not a lover of melon and steer clear of oranges.

I have always been a 3 meal a day person and never really snacked much.

Years ago I had a skin problem and began to take a multivitamin with zinc it worked miracles and I have continued over the years to take it.I have never been a smoker but for reasons unexplained my lungs are hyperinflated.

I don't drink Alcohol only on special occasions,and then it would be rum.

I have not had a glass of wine for years as it does not agree with me and avoid any food that contains it.

I have never taken any calcium supplements as my levels strangely enough are good as is my vitamin D.

I am and always will be a sun worshiper even in the cooler months I will sit in the garden wrapped up warm with a nice hot drink if the sun is shining.

I am planning on lots of warm sunshine soon as we are going to go away with our daughter and family.

ovenglove profile image

Hi sunseaandsand I also had 3 fractures T10 T12 and L3 and like yourself is suffering pain around ribs as well as back, mine happened 17 months ago and although a little less painful I am still suffering a lot of pain.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to ovenglove

Hi oven gloves, Sorry to hear you also have fractures.

It is very difficult to know what to Do for the best to try to control the pain.

Are you on pain medication?

I am currently coming down off mine which is good in some respect and terrible in another.

Did you fall? or like me have they happened without trauma.

It's the burning and feeling of movement at the bottom of the right rib that Im longing to find out the cause of.

The thing is it is getting worse rather than staying the same or improving..

ovenglove profile image
ovenglove in reply to Sunseaandsand

Pain meds aren't really helping. After all this time I thought it may have improved but it is getting worse so have made an appointment to see doctor on Thursday. I find it so uncomfortable in bed and can only really sleep on one side. Mine happened carrying shopping and could hardly breath for a long time. Sorry you are also not finding any relief from the pain. Have you lost height since this happened as I have lost 3 inches also have a large spare tyre which I never had before

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to ovenglove

Yes I have lost height and have developed curvature which I find hard to bear.

Apparently because the spine is shorter then this causes the stomach to provide which has happened with me too.

It has changed so many things and my emotions are all over the place.

I can only stand for a couple of minutes and that is too long.

My pain increased after my second and 3rd then the 4th this year just did it for me.

ovenglove profile image
ovenglove in reply to Sunseaandsand

Hi sunseaandsand can I be rude and ask your age?. These things have such a huge impact on your everyday activities don't they. I have lost a lot of confidence since this has started and was always on the go but now it is so hard accepting i cannot do the things I used to do

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to ovenglove

Hi again sounds like we are on the same wave length.

I have just reached 65 and have been under the Osteoporosis clinic for 15 years.

I too am finding acceptance so hard.

I think I am fighting it which is not doing me any good.

All last year I was attending pain management clinic and although I always came away feeling positive it is a completely different story when you go back home.

Is it ok to ask your age also, and are you on any treatment for the bones?

ovenglove profile image
ovenglove in reply to Sunseaandsand

Hi again funny enough I am 65 as well and like you say we are on the same wave length, I take alendronic acid and stexerol_d3. Last year when all this started they found I had raised calcium after a blood test so they thought it flagged up something nasty beginning with a C and sent me for every test imaginable which didn't show anything

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to ovenglove

Hi, how long have you been on treatment for?

Do you know your t scores? I find it so difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

I also have a hiatus hernia so need to be raised really, but then when I am my back is not supported and My neck problem worsens.

I have tried just about every pillow on the market and other aids, not which have worked and have now been delegated to the loft. Coming to terms with all the changes is really hard.For the best part last year I struggled to get around on crutches because I did not want to be pushed around in a wheel chair.By November if I was to go out I was in so much pain it was a case of wheelchair or don't go. I had to give in.

From January to April I only left the house to go to appointments.

To be honest some may think I am feeling Sorry for myself but in truth I feel cheated and robbed.

My family are grown and the grandchildren all but one are now independent.

I care for my Mother after losing my father and also losing my sister(I would not have chosen not to, she needed me and knew she was well looked after and loved when she passed)

But now should be my time to do and enjoy all the things I have wanted to do and my health stops me from doing them.

Even the simple things like to do my hair I can not because to raise my arms causes unbearable pain.I do get angry frustrated and miserable and have learnt I don't have to hide these emotions.

ovenglove profile image
ovenglove in reply to Sunseaandsand

You poor thing ,mine isn't as bad as yours, I have been on treatment for18 months but feels like forever, I am also diabetic and have ischaemic heart disease but look around and see so much worse than myself. Not sure of my t score is

veriterc profile image

Re pain - I was having weekly hydrotherapy which helped enormously with pain. Apparently the action of the warm water soothed and released muscles, and exercise in water strengthened muscles surrounding breaks. This was recommended to me by consultant who had done a lot of work in Europe, where hydrotherapy is well-used. Then I moved from London to Oxfordshire, where one of the best NHS hydro pools lies unused much of the time, and I have been told I can't have more sessions. If anyone is interested in how hydrotherapy can help, see aftercancers.com/hydrotherapy

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to veriterc

Hi veriterc I have just replied to you through walking dogs!!

I don't suppose I'm the first to do this though.

Never mind I will get it right the next time.

Walkingdogs profile image

Hi, I fractured T10 last year and experienced the same feeling. I actually thought I’d broken a rib as well. It was so painful and took a while for the pain to subside, I couldn’t turn in bed without my back going into a spasm, so I know how you feel. I had to wear a back brace to be able to stand. Have you seen a physiotherapist. If not I’d advise you to. Mine gave me the brace and easy core exercises to do. I already had another couple of fractures before the last one so my back was very weak. I’m much better now and can go walking and do a few more exercises. So it just takes a bit of time for these fractures to heal. Hope you feel better soon. 🙂

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Walkingdogs

Hi its great to hear you are doing so well.I was sent for Hydrotherapy but it aggravated the problem and whilst there I was taken to A and E. As a result the lessons were discontinued.

I have seen Physiotherapists in the past but they are only able to give me muscle core excersises.

I have been seen by the community physiotherapist and she has shown me leg excersises whilst seated but now they say I can not do arm excersises as I may fracture from the movements.My first post was my journey with Osteoporosis I don't know enough about the forum yet to know if you have seen it.

I am so pleased to hear of your improvement and wish you all the best.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Sunseaandsand

See how I have got it wrong!!

This I have half replied to you and the other half to better.

I shall have to work this out better.

Blame it on the Meds.

Walkingdogs profile image
Walkingdogs in reply to Sunseaandsand

Don’t do too much exercise at the beginning. Ration it out through the day. It’s a slow process and won’t be hurried along. A hot water bottle or a heat pad is good as well to relax the muscles. I was told to do this as often as I could. Don’t lose hope. Wishing you well. 🙂

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to Walkingdogs

Hi please ignore my last reply, I can not even make sense of it myself!!!

At the time of trying to write it I had one very persistent grandaughter wanting me to be a spectator of her new Dance moves.

Thank you for your reply and keep in touch.

nuigini profile image

This has been an interesting discussion and I thank you for it. I discovered over a year ago that I have a fracture at T12. It's still showing a year later. I've had increasing lumbar compression for decades.

The only situation I can think of that caused the fracture was a boating incident a couple of years ago where being slammed onto the boat seat a couple of times in heavy waves injured my tailbone and lumbar back region. I was in agony for days, sleeping in a zero gravity chair and screaming every time I tried to move. The pain radiated up the left side of my back like an electric shock. With patience and gentle pool exercising I was totally fine a few weeks later. Since then, I have the occasional lower back pain I've had for decades from the lumbar compression.

After hearing the group experiences I now suspect, the acute pain may have been the T12 fracture. I was in Panama at the time and I believe the x-ray that was taken showed only the lumbar reason, so the fracture may have been missed.

Of course all this means that every physician I see now is pushing me really hard to start bone medication. Grrrrr! Last year after 4 years of prednisone my DEXA showed a slight improvement in osteopenia. I'm scheduled for another next month. As far as I'm concerned, significantly deteriorating DEXA results are the only thing that might cause me 'think' about bone medication with any seriousness.

Sunseaandsand profile image
Sunseaandsand in reply to nuigini

It's great news that you have made an improvement, and I was sad to read that what should have been a great boating experience turned out the way it did.

It has raised my interest and a question as you have mentioned the tailbone.

For the last 3 weeks I have been getting pain there, I feel this more when for instance I try to move my sitting position and especially when I move when on my back in bed.

When researching about this it does mention fracture.

Thanks for getting in touch.

nuigini profile image

My tailbone wasn't fractured,but definitely bruised. I had to buy a tailbone cushion in order to sit anywhere comfortably. The tailbone took a few weeks longer to heal than my back. It didn't bother me in bed.

You may also like...