Broken ribs are a common injury. They are painful and cause problems with breathing. When ribs are broken, the lungs (which sit underneath) can also be injured and complications like pneumonia can occur. Other broken bones in the body are usually fixed with an operation that secures the broken bones using metal plates and screws. Recently surgeons have found that broken ribs can also be fixed in this way. However, surgery always carries some risk, especially in patients with major injuries. We don’t know if the surgery and its risks are better than the current non-operative/supportive treatments. We are doing this research study to try to find out which is better.
Around 16 in 100 patients suffering major injuries have injuries to their chest. In patients with major injuries, those with broken ribs can suffer major complications with breathing and often do not recover. The purpose of this study is to compare two different ways of treating patients with multiple broken ribs.
Professor Benjamin Ollivere