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Doctor insights on: Treat Flail Chest

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How do you treat a flail chest?

How do you treat a flail chest?

Surgery: Evidence is mounting that fixing the ribs broken in a flail chest helps significantly. Pulmonary support is also key. ...Read more

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Dr. Benjamin Taylor
64 doctors shared insights

Flail Chest (Definition)

Dangerous condition that occurs when part of rib cage breaks from the rest of the chest wall. This is usually due to trauma ...Read more


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How would you treat a flail chest?

How would you treat a flail chest?

Pain control: Flail chest is generally treated with pain control to allow the patient to cough, deep breathe and clear any secretions. Pain control can be obtained with IV narcotics, oral narcotics, subcutaneous pain pumps or an epidural catheter. Recently, there has been increased interest in fixing the ribs with plates. The jury is still out on this but is appropriate in the right patient. ...Read more

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How would you treat a flail chest and chest wound?

How would you treat a flail chest and chest wound?

See below: Flail chest, multiple ribs fractured in multiple places on one side of the chest, can cause inability of the lung to expand on that side. Usually ventilator support and underlying lung healing will allow the ribs to heal on their own. Rarely surgery is needed to fixate the ribs if there is too much damage or lack of self-healing. Chest wound is treated with cleaning, suturing only if appropriate. ...Read more

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What is flail chest?

What is flail chest?

Broken ribs: Flail chest occurs when a segment of the chest wall moves independent of the rest with respiration due to multiple rib fractures. It is usually the result of major trauma. ...Read more

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What's flail chest caused by?

What's flail chest caused by?

Trauma: Flail chest is caused by trauma to the chest, typically blunt force injury. The ribs are broken with this injury creating a situation in which it can be quite painful to breathe. Underlying injuries to the lungs and heart and structures in the chest may be associated with this and can help determine the managent strategy required. ...Read more

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What do you do for a flail chest?

Fix them: I fix them using plate and screw constructs. I've developed a muscle sparing technique that works well. It has been shown to improve patient outcomes and speed up time to get out of the hospital and icu. ...Read more

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Information site on a flail chest?

Information site on a flail chest?

Check out trauma.org: http://www.trauma.org/archive/thoracic/chestflail.html.

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What are the symptoms of flail chest?

What are the symptoms of flail chest?

Many: Shortness of breath, pain, labored breathing, cardiac abnormalities, and sometimes it can even lead to death. ...Read more

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What sort of disorder is a flail chest?

Rib fractures: A flail chest occurs when several ribs adjacent to each other ate fractured and a segment of the chest wall are then able to move paradoxically. During inhalation, the fractured ribs are sucked inward and during exhalation, they move outward which is opposite of the normal rib movements ...Read more

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What are you supposed to do for a flail chest?

What are you supposed to do for a flail chest?

Not get one: Flail chest is when 2 or 3 or more ribs are fractured in 2 or more places (definition varies). Major issues are controlling pain and maintaining oxygenation. Ribs will heal on their own usually-take 12 weeks, cause they move when we breathe. For severe cases, we utilize titanium plates internally screwed into the ribs to stabilize them. This is becoming a more common procedure in the last 10 years ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Flail chest?

What is the definition or description of: Flail chest?

Flail chest: Dangerous condition that occurs when part of rib cage breaks from the rest of the chest wall. This is usually due to trauma to the chest wall. ...Read more

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How long will i stay in the icu with a flail chest?

How long will i stay in the icu with a flail chest?

Until you're better: Ribs have to heal sufficiently to allow the thorax to function well enough for you to reliably breath on your own. Probably weeks. ...Read more

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Possible to have reconstructive surgery for flail chest?

Possible to have reconstructive surgery for flail chest?

Yes: Surgery for flail chest is controversial...It's an old idea that fell out of favor but is being used more frequently in recent years. ...Read more

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Is it possible to have reconstructive surgery for flail chest?

Yes but usually heal: While flail chest can be treated with surgery to stabilize the unstable segment, in many instances it will heal on its own. ...Read more

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Could it be possible to have reconstructive surgery for flail chest?

Could it be possible to have reconstructive surgery for flail chest?

Yes, but: Surgery for flail chest, when done, is usually for difficulty with ventilation. If you are not hospitalized and acutely ill, surgery is probably unnecessary. If you have a severe deformity from the rib fractures, a thoracic surgeon can offer options to correct that. ...Read more

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Blunt/penetrating trauma to the thorax? Flail chest? What do these terms mean?

Blunt/penetrating trauma to the thorax? Flail chest? What do these terms mean?

I agree: I agree with the other definitions above, but to be more specific, a flail chest is defined as three or more consecutive segmental rib fractures. This means the ribs are broken in two or more spots. ...Read more

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What are pericardial tamponade, myocardial contusion, flail chest?

What are pericardial tamponade, myocardial contusion, flail chest?

See below: Pericardial tamponade is a serious emergency problem of fluid or blood collection in the sac around the heart, causing heart dysfunction. Myocardial contusion is a potentially serious condition of direct trauma and bruising of the heart muscle. Flail chest is a serious problem of multiple rib fractures in several locations on one side of the chest resulting in the lung to not expand correctly. ...Read more

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1st rib removed. 2-4 resectioned. 5-6 separated from sternum. Is there danger in having 2-4 resection again? I have flail chest.

1st rib removed. 2-4 resectioned. 5-6 separated from sternum.  Is there danger in having 2-4 resection again?  I have flail chest.

Chest surgery: In general, resection of several consecutive ribs do not lead to any major respiratory compromise. It obviously depends on the indication for surgery and the extent of the resection. ...Read more