Rib rubbing on hip: Since fracturing 2 vertebrae... - Bone Health

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Rib rubbing on hip


Since fracturing 2 vertebrae in March L1 and 2, I am left with pain in my side and back where my rib rubs on my hip. This is due to hight loss, am wondering if anyone else has this problem and is it possible to have a rib removed?

13 Replies

Hello, 2 of my fractures are at L1 and L2 (also L3 and T12) and I have this pain too. It's so bad I can't stand or walk properly. My hips is also damaged because of OA. It might be worth asking about the removal of your hip, but I don't think it would be worth it for me personally

as both hips are bad anyway. It would be interesting to know the answer to this one. Please let us know if you get any joy.

I have this problem after several spinal fractures and a loss of 4 inches in height. I spoke to my OP consultant about the removal of a rib and was seen by a thoracic surgeon. He said he’d never done this procedure for this particular problem. He’d done some research and found that it would possibly be better to have the spine elongated with plates, rods etc and referred me to the spinal surgeon. I have now seen him and yes it’s possible to have surgery. However, my bones may not be strong enough to hold the screws, rods and cage. He wants a CT scan to check exactly what’s going on.

One of the fractures(T8)has not healed after 18 months and it’s this that causes me great pain across my back and the constant grinding of bone upon bone. I can only walk for about 20 minutes before the pain starts.

I’m having the CT scan this Sunday.

I do hope that something that can be done I know that it’s major surgery and a 40-50% chance that it’ll be more than one operation.

Not sure what I’ll do if it’s not possible to have surgery because of bones not strong enough.

I don’t want to live the rest of my life in pain and taking strong opiates.

Now it’s a waiting game.......


I too seem to have dropped down into my hip area after losing hight from a number of different fractures.

The pain in my lower back causes my stomach to push out and walking is very painful.

I would imagine that heightening the spine will be the best course of action but not sure if this is an option on the NHS UK.

Molly may I ask what country you live in, as we I the UK don't normally get to see thoracic surgeons.

I live in the UK. I was referred to the thoracic surgeon by my OP consultant because removing a rib would be a thoracic issue. As I’ve already said he referred me to the spinal team. I’ve had the best care from all the consultants and also my GP. The NHS is not by any means(needs more funding needed) perfect but I’m so very grateful that we have it.

I have spinal compression fractures from T5 through L3 and have lost 4 inches in height. My bones are very thin and unable to ever have kyphoplasty or any other repairs due to inability to support any hardware. Basically I'm shrinking. The pain can be horrid. I can walk alone and stand up to 2 minutes without a counter or aide to lean against.

I've never heard of hip removal. How can they do that? Do they remove that leg as well as you would have nothing to support the leg for walking.

I also have no kidneys so that contributes to chronic anemia and renal bone disease.


I got confused too KidneyCoach until I realised it was a typo. Many people do not realise they can edit their posts (if they notice errors etc) by clicking on the “more” at the bottom of their post.

I think there is a little confusion here, it's not HIP removal we are discussing, it's RIB removal. People do have ribs removed for various reasons but we are not sure if it's done for osteoporosis.

Has anyone had kyphoplasty surgery. Would be interested to hear their views.

oh...I know how that feels- not good at all. I have lost 3 inches and have had 5 crush fractures - T8, T12, L1, L4, L5... T12 and L1 have had kyphoplasty repairs - I had them done last Feb and its taken til just a couple of weeks ago to finally be able to get around without hanging onto stuff...T8 was an old fracture from long ago - we think that might have been the result of a vanpool accident many years ago. I did not have much space between my ribs and hips to begin with as I have always been rather short waisted. But now the ribs sit on my hips and the squishing down has made my tummy protrude a bit (though, I have lost a bit of weight so that is reducing). I asked about getting the bottom ribs taken out..and the surgeon said he had never done that and wants to explore deadening the nerves before he would even entertain that kind of surgery. My Dad has SEVERE osteoporosis...he is totally bent in half and his ribs have kind of looped over his hips on the outside and hurt constantly...he says his tummy muscles are very tired of trying to hold him up..mine are hurting too...but not quite as bad as his.

I sure hope we all figure out something to help us...this disease sucks...


I have never heard of this but I am going to read up on it and if something you can do for it

in reply to Hidden

It’s very common if you’ve lost height. I have no space between rib and hip. What isn’t common is rib removal. I’ve yet to find anyone who’s had it done-except celebrities who have had it done to give them a smaller waist!!

in reply to mollysuki

I saw one woman on th e tv show Botched where she wanted to look like a Barbie doll and had some ribs removed but ugh what is goin g

to protect the organs behind the ribs when you remove them ?

I dont think you should do this its a bit nutty

in reply to Hidden

It’s not something I would do for a smaller waist etc! But if the thoracic surgeon had said yes he’d do it I would’ve given it serious thoughts. When you’ve been in extreme pain for a long time you’ll want to try anything to get some relief!!

in reply to mollysuki

oh yes I know its not for cosmetic purposes but isnt it really the spine that needs to be straighter or longer maybe exericse can help I have scoliosis and I am doing some straighter spine exercises before its too late and I am really in pain the muscles hold up the bone so maybe just maybe if the muscle is built up it could help?

worth a try there is a guy or a md in fla who helps with this problem of spine curves or scoliosis

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