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Broken ribs.

Posts: 48
Joined: Oct 2011

Long time, no see! Hope you're all doing well.

I had open heart surgery and a thoracotomy in July. Chest CT after thoracotomy to check for collaterol damage (fractured bones) that came back negative. Coughing end of Sept. and ribs started hurting bad (same side as thoracotomy). X-rays showed #6 rib broken. 3 weeks later, ribs started hurting worse. Had nuclear bone scan done end of October. Scan showed #6 & #9 ribs broken and stated "Can not rule out cancer metastasis." Asked 6 doctors what they thought and I got 3- likely cancer & 3- likely not cancer. Still hurts to touch and cough/sneeze.


So, my question is, have any of you who had rib mets had the rib break and how was it diagnosed? 


Thanks. Best wishes.  Alan


I should add that I was stage 3 grade 3 left kidney and stage 1 grade 2 right kidney, clear cell, both partials.






angec's picture
Posts: 924
Joined: Mar 2012

Sorry to hear that!  How will they determine exactly what it is? If I am not mistaken (excuse me if I am), I think Fox had broken ribs at one point? Fox?  Hope things heal quickly and you get some answers.  Praying for you!

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

I've had mets in several ribs. And at least 2 rib fractures. My left T-8 rib has been broken for a few years now. Radiation stopped the mets when I was on the nivo trial. They were very painful. They were diagnosed by pain and radiology.

Posts: 48
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks for the well wishes, angie.


Fox, they still hurt and I have had X-rays and nuclear scan. I can't have an MRI (implanted defibrillator). I figured I'd wait a couple more months to see if it got better before digging deeper. Doctors say a broken rib should quit hurting after 6 weeks and it's been way longer than that.


Best wishes.  Alan 

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

I am so sorry you are going through all this pain and waiting, Alan! HUGS! Oops I mean a gentle, hug!

BUT when they tell you a fractured rib lasts about 6 weeks, is that still true for CANCER causing the fracture?

Hmm..just curious.

Heal up soon, Jan

Posts: 48
Joined: Oct 2011

Six weeks is what it takes for a fracture of a healthy rib to heal. The ribs didn't break until 8 to 12 weeks after the thoracotomy. RCC met to the rib can either grow a tumor in the soft tissue (marrow) or attack the bone itself. Both can cause a fracture. If it is active cancer, then no i don't think the bone will heal. Fox?


That is why I guess I'll wait and see.


During the heart surgery my aorta ruptured and I bled out. It took 10 bags of blood to fill me back up. So I guess if I did have cancer cells floating around, that won't be a problem now. Kind of weird to think about being full of other peoples blood.


Thanks to all who donate! Best wishes.  Alan

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