T Nation

Rib Injury

I was just wondering if any of you have had a similar injury to what I’m dealing with right now. If so, how long did it take you to get back on the mats?

I haven’t had an MRI or anything, but I’m assuming that I tore rib cartilage. The injury happened in BJJ class as I was sitting through to apply a gi choke. When I sat thru it felt like my bottom rib shifted and momentarily went on top of the rib above it. It was fairly debilitating for a couple days, but then the pain went away, except when I’m sleeping. I tried to go back to class after a week, but wasn’t able to make it through even one roll.

Now it’s been 3 weeks. I’m feeling no pain, I’m back to lifting without issue, but I can still feel it when try to sleep on my right side. It doesn’t hurt, but I can tell something’s “off”.

Anyway, I was thinking about going back to class tonight and testing it out, but I’m a little nervous about the twisting motions in BJJ re-aggravating the injury. I’m trying to prepare for NAGA in March and can’t afford to miss anymore classes. Have any of you dealt with an injury like this? Any advice?

go to a doctors office and get checked out. Unfortunately rib injuries do not heal fast, considering that every time you breath or twist or do just about anything they move a little. I cracked a rib and was out of commission from doing anything for about a year.

I tore the cartilage in my rib about a year ago. Similar thing, an insanely strong kickboxer was mounted on my, I went to bump him over, he squeezed his legs together and my ribs separated.

I didn’t bother going to a doctor, treated it myself with ice, heat and NSAIDs. Was back in training about 3 weeks later (but still in pain.)

Now, a year later I still have a lump where it didn’t heal right and have a tendency to get stitches directly under the lump. Also if someone gets knee on belly just at the right angle or catches me with a body shot at just the right spot I cry like a girl.

I wish I could offer more positive advice. If anyone knows how to get what I have fixed, please let me know.

Yeah, the reason I didn’t go to the doctor was because I was told that the only thing you can do with a rib injury is rest it. I’ve never missed more than a week of training, so I’m already going a bit crazy with the 3 week layoff.

I think I’ll give it a shot tonight and keep my fingers crossed that it won’t be an ongoing issue.

I had a similar injury last year during a no-gi grappling class, and it healed up after about a two week break from EVERYTHING. Didn’t notice any trouble with it while I was sleeping. Wish I could be of more assistance.

Been there, done that. The cartilage takes longer to heal than the bone and you really don’t want the cartilage torn off of the end of the bone like I have.

I wish I had laid off of fighting for a good six months after I tore mine the first time. Which is about how long it took to reattach and more or less heal the second time.

My advice would be forget about competing or even rolling with that rib not healed properly. Because it is not something the doctors can fix easily or well if you really mess it up. All they can do is wire it and they have to cut you wide open to thread the wire through your ribs.

A doctor might have been able to manipulate it but it probably has reattached now so you are stuck with it where it is. But if you tear it again go to a doctor right away.

By the way I hope you realize that a rib pushed through your heart can kill you instantly and if it goes through a lung you will bleed out very quickly too. Broken ribs are something to take seriously.

We had a thread about this back in December.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_boxing_fighting_mma_combat/popped_rib_cartilage

Well, I gave it a shot on Thursday night, before reading Sifu’s post. I made it through class without agrivating the injury much,but I was definitely limited. There were a few times where I felt somthing in the rib and had to abandon a move or tap when I normally wouldn’t have. The soreness also came back a bit that night when I was sleeping.

It pains me to say it since I’ve never even missed a week since I started bjj, but I think I’ll probably end up taking another month or so off before trying again. Weight training doesn’t seem to hurt it, so I’ll probably just spend some extra time in the gym.

[quote]DSmith111 wrote:
Well, I gave it a shot on Thursday night, before reading Sifu’s post. I made it through class without agrivating the injury much,but I was definitely limited. There were a few times where I felt somthing in the rib and had to abandon a move or tap when I normally wouldn’t have. The soreness also came back a bit that night when I was sleeping.

It pains me to say it since I’ve never even missed a week since I started bjj, but I think I’ll probably end up taking another month or so off before trying again. Weight training doesn’t seem to hurt it, so I’ll probably just spend some extra time in the gym.

[/quote]

I can totally empathize with where you are coming from, because I was just like you when I was younger. I never missed class and was totally committed to training unless something was seriously broken.

Now I really wish I had let that rib fully heal. There was a period of several months between the first injury and the second where I had thought it was alright. It sounds like your first injury is more severe than mine was, because I didn’t have the bone floating around until after the second injury.

The really bad thing about that injury is there is no good way to fix it. It’s not like they can make a tiny incision and put a pin in or a plate and some screws like they can with some of the other bones. It is an awkward part of the body to fix because of the amount of movement it has to be capable of to function properly.

By the way, another common injury that is really difficult to fix like that is the AC ligament which holds the Clavicle and Acromion together. I know a guy who had his completely torn so that his collarbone is able to come up out of his shoulder and spin around. What can tear the AC ligament is taking a blow from the side on your elbow. So if you have an AC injury something you don’t want to do is hold an airshield and let a whole dojo take turns unloading kicks on it.

The thread Sifu posted was mine. I did nothing for the first week of the injury, just ran for the next 2 weeks, then went back to weights. When I could do a set of DB pullovers with no pain I went back. During this time I took ostio biflex daily and 6 Flameout. My first 2 weeks back to bjj I was sore. It took a good 6 weeks to be back to around 100%. I had just hit 100% when my ankle got popped in a toehold. Tomorrow will be my first day back in 3 weeks, I have missed 7 of the last 11 weeks. You have to look at bjj as a journey, letting injuries heal allows you to continue sooner.