Chest Wall Injuries


Background
  1. Injuries to the bones and muscles of the thorax
  2. May be very significant injuries
  3. Often overlooked during initial workup
  4. Occur in 50% of all thoracic trauma
  5. Etiology:

Pathophysiology

  1. Chest wall functions
  2. Most individuals can tolerate some degree of chest wall injuries

Diagnostics

  1. History
  2. Physical exam
  3. Diagnostic testing
  4. Diagnostic imaging

Differential Diagnosis

  1. Rib fractures
  2. Sternal fractures
  3. Costochondral separations
  4. Flail chest

Treatment

  1. ATLS as usual
  2. Look for associated SEVERE INJURIES
  3. Provide adequate analgesia
  4. Good pulmonary toilet

Disposition

  1. Admit
  2. Discharge