ZocdocAnswersI got hit in the throat today by a surfboard, what do I do?

Question

I got hit in the throat today by a surfboard, what do I do?

I went surfing on August 24, 2013 at 6 a.m. and my surfboard hit me at around 9 a.m. It hit me directly where my adam's apple is, so I have been doing research and believe that I got hit on the larynx. It hurts to talk or swallow but breathing is perfectly fine. The pain doesn't feel like a sore throat, it just hurts, not a lot but the pain is bearable. My voice still sounds the same I just can talk in my normal voice because it hurts. I don't know if I should wait it out or go the ER.

Answer

While you seem to have done some good research about the signs that you should be looking for, it is always best to manage these sort of problems very cautiously and speak to a doctor. That is because the amount of time that it takes for a mild problem to become a big problem can be very short. In general, if your voice is fine and you do not have any swelling over the anterior neck and there is no bruising, you can speak with your doctor to see if you need to go in. If there are changes that are happening more acutely, such as voice changes, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, increasing swelling in the neck, or any other changes, you need to be seen immediately. Based on what you have told me, I do not feel comfortable telling you that you do not need to be seen, as you are still having problems with pain with routine activities. An ear nose and throat surgeon (AKA ENT or otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon) is best able to take care of these concerns if your doctor feels a referral is necessary, as he or she is able to evaluate these problems fully. Please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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