University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Trauma medicine


Dr Larry Herman



Purpose: This article aims to review the indications for rib plating and to inform the reader of the benefits of rib plating for flail chest and multiple rib fractures.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with the search terms “rib plating”, “flail chest”, and “multiple rib fractures”. Twenty-five articles were retrieved and are the basis for this clinical review. Articles before 2017 were excluded from the search.

Results: Evidence-based research supports rib plating in treating patients with flail chest and multiple rib fractures with displacement to improve clinical outcomes.

Conclusion: Rib fractures historically have been treated non-operatively with pain management and oxygen therapy. Patients that present with flail chest or multiple displaced rib fractures will have a quicker recovery and better outcomes if they undergo surgical stabilization with rib plating. Rib plating can improve respiratory function, shorten recovery, and prevent the development of pneumonia. Surgical stabilization of rib fractures can reduce morbidity and improve patient outcomes.


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