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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb

J Exerc Rehabil



When will pulmonary function recover after rib fracture?


Hwang E G, Lee Y
J Exerc Rehabil. 2020 Feb; 16(1):108-111.
PMID: 32161742.


Rib fracture is almost recovered with conservative management including oral medication. Pain is easily controlled with medication, but physiologic function is not readily evaluated. This study is aimed to investigate the factors influencing to recovery of pulmonary function test (PFT) and changes according to times after rib fracture. From August 2015 to January 2018, medical records of patients with rib fracture were reviewed retrospectively. Factors may influencing to recovery of PFT (age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, numbers of fractures, intercostal nerve block) were evaluated, and serial (initial, 1 month, 2 months) changes of parameters PFT (forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expiratory volume in 1 sec [FEV], total lung capacity [TLC], vital capacity [VC]) for 2 months were observed. Total patients were 60, and PFT was completed 38 and 27 patients after 1 month and 2 months respectively. Mean age was 55.1 years (20-84 years) and mean numbers of fracture were 3.98 (1-11). Intercostal nerve block and rib fixation were performed in 32 cases and 2 cases respectively. Age, numbers of fracture and intercostal nerve block were not significant factors to changes of PFT. But chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was significant factor to recovery of FEV in 1 month. PFT was improved in FVC, FEV through 2 months, and improved in TLC, VC in 1 month. This study showed the evidence and prognosis of physiologic recovery after rib fracture. And we could tell about physiologic recovery to rib fracture patients with this study.