Aliens, intercostal neuralgia, rib surgery: a chest wall story

A few months after my 2009 bike accident, I started to notice some swelling on my side below my 11th rib. Time passed and nobody could determine the cause of this painful protrusion. I dubbed it The Alien. I was certain that at some point a hand would push its way through my skin and some kind of strange creature would pop out. Since my life is not a Sci-fi movie, nothing so interesting happened. … Continue reading

Read More

JZ and Dr. Grail: A tale of a quest

I have been dealing with this rib injury for 2 years and 8 months. At some point during that time frame it became evident there was dysfunction in the rib and it would not heal without surgical intervention. I hunkered down with my father and began a quest to find a surgeon who was willing and able to fix my rib. And, who doesn’t love a good quest? One of my favorite films in high … Continue reading

Read More

Nerve block redux

About 18 months ago, I had an intercostal nerve block, which I wrote about here. In short, an intercostal nerve block is a method of injecting a numbing agent and cortisone, under x-ray guidance, right into the nerve root between a particular rib with the hope of reducing pain and inflammation. The original block I had done was at the wrong rib, so, naturally, it didn’t work. The experience was awful and I was reluctant … Continue reading

Read More

Kinesio tape and fairy dust

I have been dealing with my rib injury for nearly two years. I have come to view this injury as a chronic condition, not unlike my asthma. It is with me all the time. It must be managed on a daily basis. Most of the time, the injury lingers in the background, but then when I least expect it, the injury flares up with vigor and I have trouble breathing and the pain level soars. … Continue reading

Read More