DG Journal Club
PURPOSE Nonunion of traumatic rib fractures is a clinical/radiological diagnosis caused by an alteration of bone healing reparative process. Since it is a painful condition, nonunion has a significative impact on patient’s morbidity and quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes after surgical stabilization of ribs affected by nonunion after traumatic fractures.
METHODS We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of all patients who were treated with surgical stabilization of nonunion after traumatic rib fractures. We analyzed demographic data as well as clinical and patient-reported outcomes.
RESULTS Nineteen patients were identified and included in this analysis. Median age was 49B years (range 25-69B years). Mean length of stay was 5.4B days. No in-hospital mortality was observed. After a median follow-up of 46.94B months (range 0-103), 16 (84.2%) patients were completely asymptomatic, while 3 (15.8%) were still suffering from pain after surgery.
CONCLUSIONS Surgical stabilization in patients affected by rib nonunion can be safely performed with few complications, good clinical outcomes and satisfactory quality of life.