Contemporary Management of Patients with Multiple Rib Fractures: What You Need to Know

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of trauma and acute care surgery




10% of all injured patients and 55% of patients with blunt chest trauma experience rib fractures. The incidence of death due to rib fractures is related to the number of fractured ribs, severity of fractured ribs, and patient age and co-morbid conditions. Death due to rib fracture is mostly caused by pneumonia due to inability to expectorate and take deep breaths. Over the last 25-30 years, there has been renewed interest in surgical stabilization of rib fractures, known colloquially as "rib plating". This review will present what you need to know in regards to triage decisions on whether or not to admit a patient to the hospital, the location to which they should be admitted, criteria and evidentiary support for SSRF, timing to SSRF, and operative technique. The review also addresses the cost-effectiveness of this operation and stresses non-operative treatment modalities that should be implemented prior to operation.Article TypeReview, Level III.