A best evidence topic was constructed according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was whether surgical stabilization is effective in improving the outcomes of patients with isolated multiple distracted and painful non-flail rib fractures. Of the 356 papers found using a report search, nine presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, study type, group studied, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are given. We conclude that, on the whole, the nine retrieved studies clearly support the use of surgical stabilization in the management of isolated multiple non-flail and painful rib fractures for improving patient outcomes. The interest and benefit was shown not only in terms of pain (McGill pain questionnaire) and respiratory function (forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity), but also in improved quality of life (RAND 36-Item Health Survey) and reduced socio-professional disability. Indeed, most of the authors justified surgical management based on the fact that the results of surgical stabilization showed improvement in short- and long-term patient outcomes, with fast reduction in pain and disability, as well as lower average wait before recommencing normal activities. Hence, the current evidence shows surgical stabilization to be safe and effective in alleviating post-operative pain and in improving patient recovery, thus enhancing the outcome after isolated multiple rib fractures. However, given the little published evidence, prospective trials are necessary to confirm these encouraging results.