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Carol asked...

I tripped and fell heavily.

I tripped over a pavement a week ago and fell heavily. My right knee, palm of left hand and left side of the body hit the pavement. The bruising on my knee is fading but the pain from my left breast is still there. It has no bruising but it hit the ground very heavily. It aches nearly all the time and I have to wear support in bed as it hurts when I turn over, like a torn ligament (which I've had) or something similar, and if I cough or hiccup.

I imagine it's bruised internally, although not showing. How long should I wait to see it heals naturally and is it worth getting the doctor to check it out?

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The answer

It sounds as if you have had quite a nasty fall which has left you feeling very bruised and tender around the chest and rib cage area. This type of bruising can take a few weeks to fully heal.

In the worst case scenario, you could have broken a rib. This can cause pain when you cough. There is no treatment anyway even if a rib is broken, unless your breathing becomes difficult.

Try to rest and hopefully you will recover quickly. You can take simple painkillers for the pain such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If you become short of breath and feverish, you should see the doctor (as chest infections can sometimes occur following rib fractures).

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.


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