Objective: To compare the intensity of pain and duration of return to normal activity in patients with rib fractures treated with surgical stabilization with plating versus conventional treatment modalities.
Patients and methods: This study was conducted over a 12 month period. Patients with rib fractures were assessed by numerical pain scale. Patients having pain scale less than 5 were excluded from study. Patients having pain scale of 5 or more than 5 were treated with conventional treatment for next 10 days. On 11th day patients were again assessed by numerical pain scale and patients having score less than 5 were excluded from study. Patients having pain scale of 5, 6, and 7 were treated with conventional treatment and patients having pain scale of 8, 9, and 10 were selected for operative management. Operative and control group were compared on basis of intensity of pain and duration of return to normal activity. Follow up was done on 5, 15, and 30 post operative day.
Results: There was less pain in operative group as compared to control group. Mean rib fracture pain in operative group was 9.15, 2.31, 1.12 as compared to 6.25, 5.96, 4.50 in control group on 5, 15 and 30 post operative days. Also there was early return to normal activity in operative group.
Conclusion: Surgical stabilization of rib fracture, an underutilized intervention is better than conventional conservative management in terms of both, decrease in intensity of pain and early return to normal activity.
Copyright © 2011 Surgical Associates Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.