Costochondral Separation


Background
  1. Disruption of cartilage between rib and sternum
  2. Similar mechanism to a rib fracture

Pathophysiology

  1. Etiologies
  2. Rib is torn loose from costal cartilage
  3. Think of potential other injuries

Diagnostics

  1. Hx of trauma (usually blunt)
  2. Physical exam
  3. Diagnostic testing

Differential Diagnosis

  1. Rib fractures
  2. Sternal fracture
  3. Flail chest
  4. Myocardial contusion
  5. Pulmonary contusion
  6. Cardiac tamponade
  7. Aortic dissection
  8. Thoracic spine fracture

Treatment

  1. ATLS if multiple trauma
  2. Oxygen, cardiac monitoring
  3. Consider associated injuries
  4. Supportive care
  5. Splinting or taping of fractures NOT recommended

Disposition

  1. Admit if:
  2. Isolated stable injuries may be discharged