Loose ribs still almost 7 months post op

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opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 11/21/2011 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all-

I had my esophagus repaired March first and they went through my left side ribs. I am still having pain and popping from those ribs. I saw a local thoracic surgeon today who had just done my redo reflux surgery. He said usually it takes 6 months for them to tighten back up, but if they haven't by January he said he will have to put plates on them to stabilize them.

Has anyone every had to have this done?

I had lung surgery 4 years ago and my ribs tightened back up in about 5 months then.

Take care,
Bill devil
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 11/21/2011 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I do not know anything about this kind of surgery at all. I just wanted to tell you that it makes me hurt thinking about what you wrote above, wow. I do hope you are getting betetr every day and not in a lot of pain. Please take care of yourself.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry about the ribs, Bill.

I have 3 that were cracked and pulled loose from the cartilage in front. At least one is still "slipping" over thw one below it. I got a nerve ablation at the spine to deal with the pain after complaining about it for a year. It was done by an anesthesiologist who specializes in thoracic and cervical pain injections in my pain group. It's just like any other facet injection as far as the patient is concerned. It worked for most of the next year. An injection in the front was supposed to numb the nerve but didn't come close to working. It's possible to get the nerve more permanently burned if it doesn't work, but nothing is truly permanent because nerves grow back, sometimes get mixed up and cause permanent pain.

Plates doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I think I would get a second opinion.
Alcie
 
 

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
straydog-
Thanks, I was hoping to get a nerve block similar to my rib on my right side, but I forgot to say that the skin on my left side is very sensitive from the nerves coming back from where the chest tubes where for over a month. Even my shirt rubbing that area causes pain to shoot to my stomach muscles, so my surgeon said it would be way too painful to do any injections yet.
While ,y left side was numb from cutting the nerves I really didn't have any pain from it. I would just feel it pop, but the last 3 weeks the feeling is coming back and getting more painful every day.

Alcie, I had almost forgot about that nasty rib you have. Was it you who was told they could remove it? That sounds very painful also.
I did have the nerve for my right rib frozen with liquid nitrogen and it only worked for a week. Now they want to try an SCS unit, but after 3 surgeries since March 1st I am DONE for this year. LOL

Guess my bad luck just won't go away this year. Come on 2012!
Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 11/22/2011 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Bill, Yes I was told they could remove it, but it was 3 slipping originally, and I thought that would be excessive.

My anes/pain doc didn't use nitrogen. He killed it with something else that worked. They can burn them too. I'll bet your's could be re-done. They might have just mised the right branch. My guy spent a lot of time figuring out which places to inject. He did 3. When he injected anesthetic to the nerve he asked me to tell him when the ribs stopped hurting.

My pain is back, but it's tolerable for now with the pain meds I take for everything else. One rib, maybe a second still slipping, but not 24/7 like before. Mine are still disconnected at the tip where they were ripped loose from the costal cartilage (not really cartilage at my age, it's bone now).

Since there's a skin numbing shot, and more anesthetic going deeper, I can't imagine why they can't do an ablation.
Alcie
 
 

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/22/2011 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Alcie-
He wants to wait a bit for my left ribs that are loose. My ribs were loosened from them spreading them to do the surgery, so hopefully they will tighten up soon. I forgot haw bad your trauma was from your accident. That has to be horrible. They did a CT scan in Sept. to check the hole in my esophagus and could see the ribs were still "floating".
The right side rib they did the same as you by numbing the nerves to see what area stopped the pain. Then they cut a small incision and used some type of probe on that nerve branch, oh they marked it with dye also when they did the initial numbing too. This was supposed to "the latest and greatest" procedure, but didn't work for me.
Right now I get nerve block about every 6 to 8 weeks on the right side rib and works pretty well with some pain meds also.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 11/22/2011 8:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh yeah, I forgot about the dye. It's just like getting an angiogram or a regular nerve block. I've been able to watch sometimes when the monitor's in the right spot. At least mine only hurt when they rub over each other. Yours must be 24/7, plus the large incision. I'm getting reminded not to slouch right now.

I wonder why they're not ablating your nerves. It sounds like they're just doing a regular facet block if it only lasts a few weeks. I didn't have an incision or a probe. My doc does these just about daily. He's really fast, but accurate. His partner does my lumbar and sacral injections, manages my meds.

I'm glad your esophagus was able to be repaired. At least there was that blessing.
Alcie
 
 

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/23/2011 5:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie-

Right now the surgeon who did my lung surgery 4 years ago and my recent nissen redo is the one doing the nerve blocks. I went to the VA PM doc after the one at Iowa city left for a different hospital (he did the cryo ablation). The VA doctor told me she wouldn't do any ablations since the cryo didn't work and just wants to try the SCS unit. My wife goes to a PM doc locally, whom we just found, for her migraines. After talking with several people who have seen him they say he is probably the best in the area. I am thinking of seeing him to get another opinion.

As for the esophagus, I am SO glad it finally stopped leaking after 2 months. I was scheduled 2 times while still at the hospital to have it removed and most likely replaced with a section of my colon. The last time they cancelled it an hour before I was to get the epidural and 2 hours before the surgery. Talk about a roller coaster ride.

I have found my ribs hurt more when I slouch also.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 11/23/2011 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so glad you didn't have the colon replacement. I don't understand how you would be able to swallow.

Is your PA an anesthesiologist? They are the only ones qualified to do the thoracic injections. My thoracic guy is one, but my lumbar guy is a physiatrist. Neurosurgeons could do it too, but they are too busy doing real surgery.

My thoracic guy said he's do a burn if the ablation didn't work long enough.
Alcie
 
 
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