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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 01

Healthcare (Basel)



Surgical Stabilisation of Traumatic Rib Fractures with Chronic, Residual Type A Aortic Dissection.


Matic KJ, Cheluvappa R, Selvendran S
Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Apr 01; 9(4).
PMID: 33915874.


Surgical stabilisation of rib fractures (SSRF) reduces morbidity and mortality. However, its impact in complicated cases, particularly those with underlying thoracic pathologies, is of continued interest. Electronic records were retrospectively reviewed after obtaining informed consent from the patient. This case report details a patient with chronic, residual, Stanford Type A aortic dissection (AD) who had multiple left-sided rib fractures with a flail segment after being struck by a bicycle. The preoperative computed tomography (CT) of the patient's chest showed that the sixth posterior rib fracture location was just ~13 mm from the false lumen of the aorta. As the patient had poor respiratory output and persistent pain, SSRF was not performed on the posterior sections. However, the anterior third to seventh rib fractures were plated. The patient recovered fully, with reduced pain and improved respiratory function. This is the first report describing the benefits of SSRF with AD or major thoracic pathologies. Further research into the benefits of SSRF in specific thoracic pathologies may lead to improved patient outcomes. This may require the creation of profiles of patient cohorts with relevant clinical history to determine if SSRF may benefit patients with specific thoracic pathologies.