Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a problem with my lower floating ribs. They touch my pelvis bone and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Typically they render me inactive for weeks, sometimes months at a time. I’ve been to countless physiotherapy sessions, and I have looked and looked for a doctor who would consider rib removals.. I just discovered you on YouTube, and I am wondering if you would consider this for me. Thank you for your time.
A: Thank you for your inquiry. It is very rare that the lower floating ribs actually touch the iliac crest of the hip with certain body movement…but I have had previous patients tell me this before. And it can be anatomically explained as ribs #11 and 12 actually point downward as opposed to the ribs above it which point more to the side. Also they are partial ribs and not complete ones so they do have a blunt end to them. The good news is that rib removals of them should be a cure for this type of anatomic impingement problem.
Rib removals of ribs #11 and 12 are done through small incisions on the back that parallel the direction of the ribs.
Dr. Barry Eppley