Floating Rib Syndrome

Information on Floating Rib Syndrome

If you have never heard of floating rib syndrome you may believe that this is some quirky saying, but it is a medical condition that is real, and painful for those that suffer from it.

A floating rib is basically a rib that is attached to spine, but isn’t attached to the sternum. In reality everyone has floating ribs, but in the case of floating rib syndrome what has happened is that the rib is not in place, and is putting too much pressure on tissue and the internal organs surrounding it. Not only is floating rib syndrome very painful, it can also put you at risk for infections.

Having a rib slip in this way is uncommon, and in most cases the cause can be traced back to muscle weakness. This weakness of the muscle can cause the rib to slip away from the ligaments that are holding it into place.

The cause of floating rib syndrome is not fully understood, but some medical experts believe that it is a leftover from human evolution. At one time these ribs might have had some use in protecting the chest cavity, and as people evolved they did not fully attach to the sternum.

When it comes to diagnosing floating rib syndrome your doctor will do a physical examination and may order imaging tests. Like other rib problems, imaging testing can determine what the cause it, and the best way to treat it. Your doctor may also order other tests to rule out any other medical condition that could be causing pain. As this pain can sometimes feel a little like a heart attack, an EKG may be ordered. Floating rib syndrome is treated in much the same way that other rib problems are treated, with rest and staying immobile.

If you are suffering from a slipped rib, your doctor will probably order bed and when you are back on your feet you will probably be forced to reduce your workload. Due to the fact that this is such a painful condition, your doctor may also prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatory to help you deal with the discomfort associated with this diagnosis.

One of the main symptoms of floating rib syndrome is pain. The pain that you experience with this condition may occur below the ribcage, as well as in the chest; this can also make you feel as if you are having difficulty with breathing. You may also experience pain in the upper part of the back, usually between the shoulder blades. The pain that you feel could either be a dull ache type pain, or it could be very sharp pain. The pain does increase with movement.

What usually causes the pain with floating rib syndrome is that the slipped rib is pinching nerves in the back and chest. When the nerves are being compressed the pain can feel almost unbearable.

If you have symptoms that are consistent with floating rib syndrome you will want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated so as to reduce your risk for infection and relieve your pain.