Doctor insights on:
Treatment For 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 moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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 moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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 moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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
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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