In recent years the approach towards rib fractures has evolved. Abandoned in the past, due to inadequate instrumentation and lack of evidence, rib fixation has recently re-emerged as a treatment option for trauma patients. There have been a number of advances over the last 25 years that now allow surgeons to internally fix rib fractures that otherwise may have not had other options. However, as a result there has been a rapid increase in literature and many institutions interested in initiating rib fixation programs. Due to a variety of practitioners involved namely, trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and thoracic surgeons there has been no comprehensive guide to patient selection, technique, and post-operative care.
The purpose of this text is to fill the educational gap for those trauma, orthopedic, and thoracic surgeons interested in learning the cutting edge evidence-based approaches to treatment of rib fractures. This topic has caught the interest of many and has been a recurrent theme at surgical meetings over the last two years. Although there has been ever increasing levels of interest and experience nationally there are many questions which remain.
This text will provide not only the theoretical background for improving outcomes in those with rib fractures but also serve as a practical guide to those interested in starting new programs. The text will include tips and tricks that can be used in the OR or at the bedside to improve patient care. Therefore, the focus will be on a comprehensive review but also including tips and tricks from the most experienced surgeons around the country who are performing internal fixation for rib fractures.