4 doctors weighed in:

How would you treat a flail chest?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Offner
Surgery - Trauma
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Patrick Offner
Dr. Patrick Offner
Thank
Dr. Michael Taylor
Critical Care
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Pain control plus...

Pain control is key.
..Depending on the level of associated lung injury, breathing support may be needed--noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (cpap or bipap mask) or intubation/mechanical ventilation. Surgery to stabilize the chest wall may be indicated, but this is controversial.

In brief: Pain control plus...

Pain control is key.
..Depending on the level of associated lung injury, breathing support may be needed--noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (cpap or bipap mask) or intubation/mechanical ventilation. Surgery to stabilize the chest wall may be indicated, but this is controversial.
Dr. Michael Taylor
Dr. Michael Taylor
Thank
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Surgery

Flail chest is usually best treated by surgery.
I have a video online of this surgery - look on youtube for flail chest and drbentaylor.

In brief: Surgery

Flail chest is usually best treated by surgery.
I have a video online of this surgery - look on youtube for flail chest and drbentaylor.
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Dr. Benjamin Taylor
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
23 years in practice
171K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors