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Floating Rib Syndrome

  1. Pain in the right or left abdomen and on the side / flank? Chances are you are dealing with floating rib syndrome (also called 11th or 12th rib syndrome). The complaints are not always recognized and the floating rib syndrome is often not considered at all. How does this occur, what are the symptoms and is there the right treatment?

Origin of the floating rib syndrome

  1. Often patients go to the GP with vague abdominal pain and flank pain. Because the doctor cannot find anything, people are often referred to the hospital. These are usually stomach problems, gallstones or intestinal problems. After various investigations it must sometimes be concluded that there is nothing wrong with this. The patient is sent home without diagnosis or treatment. This is very frustrating, because the pain continues.

Symptoms: recognize the complaints

  1. First we need to know where the floating rib is. Man has 24 ribs, twelve on each side. A number of people have one pair more or less. The bottom two pairs of ribs are called the floating ribs. These are not attached to the front. You don't feel floating ribs until you start to feel pain. Pain is felt in the left or right side of the upper abdomen and pain in the flank. Often the pain is noticeable on one side, but in some cases also on both sides, such as when exercising on both sides. The pain can develop slowly. Sometimes no pain complaints are felt at first and they develop suddenly and are much more intense than when they develop slowly. The complaints become more severe when the posture collapses or when bending sideways.

Diagnosis and treatment

  1. The doctor will often first think of stomach complaints, intestinal complaints or bile or kidney stones. Problems with the liver are also often thought to be. It is therefore logical that these are investigated first. When you can clearly indicate the pain, it is often easier for the doctor to make a diagnosis. The doctor will scan the ribs. In floating rib syndrome, pressure pain is felt when touching the floating rib, especially at the end of it.

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