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Ann Thorac Surg. 1982 Jun;33(6):614-8.

Severity of intrathoracic injuries associated with first rib fractures.


The benign condition of isolated first rib fracture is compared with the severity of intrathoracic injuries resulting from first rib fracture associated with multiple rib injuries. Seventy-five patients with 90 first rib fractures were divided into two groups. Group 1 (n = 13) included those with isolated first rib fractures and Group 2 (n = 62), those with first-rib fractures associated with multiple rib injuries. In Group 1 patients, intrathoracic injuries were mild with no major vascular injuries. Conversely, Group 2 patients sustained severe intrathoracic injury, 58% of them with aortic injury. Stress is placed on early diagnosis, assigning of priority to associated injuries, and early operative intervention.

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