In this medical video learn how doctors use to say time is all it takes to heal a broken rib. now, there is a new way to mend ribs faster and with less pain and deformity.
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Gary Schaub: Okay, are you ready to go for riding? Yeah. I think my horse kind of hopped over it and knocked me off balance, and I just got launched in the air like a guided missile. Jennifer Matthews: Gary Schaub is back on his horse a year after his jumping accident. It's taken that longer to fully recover from breaking seven ribs. Gary Schaub: The surgeons who were responsible for my care said that there's nothing you can do about broken ribs, that you'll just essentially have to go home and they will heal. Jennifer Matthews: But after two weeks of internal bleeding and excruciating pain, Gary sought a second opinion. Dr. John C. Mayberry: His chest was part way caved in. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor John Mayberry is one of only a handful of surgeons in the country routinely operating to repair broken ribs. He guesses that about 5% of people who break their ribs need surgery, that's about 15,000 patients a year. John C. Mayberry: Perhaps 10 days to two weeks have passed and they're not getting better, and the ribs are still moving. That indicates that they're not healing at least very rapidly. Jennifer Matthews: Gary's ribs were so far apart. They may never have grown back together, so Dr. Mayberry fastened them with metal plates. Gary Schaub: I woke up and I could breathe. I couldn't believe it. Jennifer Matthews: The plates used in Gary's surgery were actually designed for the jaw. Now, Dr. Mayberry uses a shorter U-shaped plate made specifically to fix ribs. Gary says the hardware inside his chest is holding just fine but for now, he's still holding off on any jumping. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.