Current Status of Rib Plating: Hardware Failure When and How?
Current Surgery Reports
Flail chest; Flail segment; Hardware failure; Rib plating; Surgical stabilization of rib fractures
Purpose of Review: Surgical stabilization of rib fractures (SSRF) has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality in patients with multiple rib fractures. This has led to a concomitant increase in the procedure, but the complications are just now being described in the literature. The purpose of this review is to focus on the current understanding of hardware failure after rib fixation. Recent Findings: A recent study from the Chest Wall Injury Society (CWIS) found that hardware failure is relatively rare and often asymptomatic thus not requiring routine postoperative imaging or reoperation. When hardware failures occur, they tend to occur on the lateral and posterolateral columns. Patients who undergo fixation for chronic fractures may be at higher risk for complications. Summary: Hardware failure is a rare complication of SSRF and rarely requires reoperation. Postoperative imaging should be based on symptoms.
Butano, V., Zebley, J., & Sarani, B. (2020). Current Status of Rib Plating: Hardware Failure When and How?. Current Surgery Reports, 8 (7). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40137-020-00257-3