Article Abstract

Costal cartilage resection for the treatment of slipping rib syndrome (Cyriax syndrome) in adults

Authors: Antonio Mazzella, Ludovic Fournel, Antonio Bobbio, Aurélie Janet-Vendroux, Filippo Lococo, Emelyne Canny Hamelin, Philippe Icard, Marco Alifano

Abstract

Background: Slipping rib syndrome is an overlooked cause of low chest or upper abdominal pain. Costal cartilage excision has been described as an effective treatment of this disorder. We review our experience with surgically treated slipping rib syndrome in the adult patient.
Methods: This is a single institution retrospective analysis from January 2000 to March 2019 of adult patients operated on for treatment of a slipping rib syndrome.
Results: Nineteen patients were diagnosed with slipping rib syndrome and underwent costal cartilage excision. All patients presented with unilateral and life disturbing chest pain (8 left sided). In all cases, point tenderness was observed with palpation and hooking maneuver was positive. Each patient underwent imaging and ultrasonography suggested slipping rib syndrome in one case. A mean of 1±0.2 cartilages was excised. Early postoperative course was uneventful in all the cases. Follow-up was complete for all patients over a median of 18,7±12 [3–132] months. At postoperative month 2 follow-up, 15 on 19 patients had complete resolution of their symptoms. At late interviews, 6 out of 19 patients described recurrent pain, whose intensity was significantly lower. We observed significant differences about pre-operative and post-operative visual analog pain (EVA) (8.07±0.75 vs. 2±2.3, P<0.005), weekly pain crises (6.25±2.7 vs. 1.6±2.1, P<0.005) and morphinics consomption (9/19 vs. 2/19, P=0.029). Fourteen patients out of 19 nineteen strongly recommended surgical intervention.
Conclusions: Slipping rib syndrome of the adult is an overlooked cause of chest or abdominal pain which diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. Costal cartilage excision allows short to mid-terms effective and reliable treatment to reduce symptoms and life disturbance but does not exclude late pain recurrence.

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