Washington D.C. [USA], Jan 26 (ANI): Doctors have come up with a new surgical procedure to fix rib fractures.
Evert Eriksson, a co-author of the paper said: "Offer medicine for the pain and a ventilator if breathing is an issue. But otherwise, the bones will form a callus over time that allows it to function as it needs to."
Offer medicine for the pain and a ventilator if breathing is an issue," said Evert Eriksson, M.D., a trauma surgeon at the Medical University of South Carolina and co-author of the paper.
"But otherwise, the bones will form a callus over time that allows it to function as it needs to." And while that idea has morphed over the last decade to make multiple-fracture repair more common, patients with less severe fractures often still go untreated despite the pain.
This extended discomfort is what led Denver Health Medical Center surgeon Fredric Pieracci, M.D., along with several other trauma surgeons to conduct a study with members of the Chest Wall Injury Society.
Twelve centres from across the United States came together to evaluate the success of surgical stabilization of rib fractures (SSRF), which involves installing a plate to line up the two ends of the fracture and hold them in place throughout the healing process.
They theorized that by stabilizing partially displaced and fractured ribs, patients' pain and quality of life would improve.
As recently published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, patients who underwent SSRF for three or more rib fractures with partial dislocation reported less pain on the numeric pain scale and a better quality of life after their stabilization surgery.
"This research shows that patients who have partially displaced fractures, as well as some pulmonary compromise, also benefit from a procedure that is usually reserved for a more severely injured cohort," said Eriksson.
Technological limitations have played a role in keeping surgeons from performing this procedure in the past. It wasn't until recently that surgeons acquired the right equipment to keep surgical incisions small and the risk of complications in the pleural space low.
By pulling the muscles aside, instead of cutting through them, surgeons are able to access the chest wall and ribs less invasively.
Even the material of the stabilization plates has improved, becoming less rigid and moving more naturally with the patient as the chest expands and contracts with each breath, according to Eriksson.
This new innovation presents an opportunity for surgeons to address a different population that is traditionally not considered for operational treatment. (ANI)
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