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Technique for Repair of Fractures and Separations Involving the Cartilaginous Portions of the Anterior Chest WallFractures of Cartilaginous Chest Wall

Stephanie L. Bonne, MD; Isaiah R. Turnbull, MD, PhD; Robert E. Southard, MD
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From the Department of Surgery, Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Stephanie Bonne, MD, Department of Surgery, Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, 660 S Euclid Ave, Box 8109, St. Louis, MO 63122; e-mail: bonnes@wudosis.wustl.edu


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;147(6):e199-e204. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0757
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Internal fixation of the ribs has been shown in numerous studies to decrease complications following traumatic rib fractures. Anterior injuries to the chest wall causing cartilaginous fractures, although rare, can cause significant disability and can lead to a variety of complications and, therefore, pose a unique clinical problem. Here, we report the surgical technique used for four patients with internal fixation of injuries to the cartilaginous portions of the chest wall treated at our center. All patients had excellent clinical outcomes and reported improvement in symptoms, with no associated complications. Patients who have injuries to the anterior portions of the chest wall should be considered for internal fixation of the chest wall when the injuries are severe and can lead to clinical disability.

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