Blunt chest trauma: is there a place for rib stabilization?
Rib fractures are a common and highly morbid finding in patients with blunt chest trauma. Over the past decade, a renewed interest in (and instrumentation for) rib fixation in this cohort has occurred. Stabilization of the chest wall in this setting, particularly when a flail segment is present, is associated with significant reductions in the rates of respiratory failure, pneumonia, ICU stay, and mortality. Thoracic surgeons should remain actively involved in this evolving area of our specialty to further optimize patient outcomes.