Localization of rib fractures following blunt thorax trauma and investigating the relationship between these and traumatic hemopneumothorax
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Keywords:blunt trauma, hemotorax, rib fracture, pneumothorax
Background: Thorax traumas form 20-25% of deaths resulting from trauma. In the young population, the most common reason for death resulting from trauma is thorax trauma. The investigation of blunt thorax trauma reveals that the most common reason in the young population is 'in-vehicle motor traffic accidents (IVMTA), while falls take the 1st place in the geriatric population. The relationship between the localization of rib fractures developing due to blunt thorax trauma and the resultant hemothorax, pneumothorax, or hemopneumothorax investigated, and results compared.
Material and Method: Between the dates November 2018 and November 2019, thoracic computerized tomography views of a total of 81 patients who applied with blunt thorax trauma and rib fractures evaluated retrospectively. Rib fractures were divided into three as upper, middle and lower thoracic segments according to their localization.
Results: The most common localization for rib fracture was the middle thoracic segment with 57 (70.3%) patients. The mean hospitalization period was 5.4 (range: 1-24) days. Additional pathological findings were hemothorax, pneumothorax, and hemopneumothorax in 20 (24.7%), 16 (19.8%), and 5 (6.2%) patients, respectively. Among thoracic segments where rib fractures encountered, the upper thoracic segment most commonly led to hemothorax and pneumothorax with 11 (32.3%) and 8 (23.5%) patients, respectively.
Conclusion: The most common localization of rib fractures following blunt thorax trauma is the upper and middle thoracic segment. In the upper thoracic segment, emergency thorax surgery complications like hemothorax/pneumothorax follow posttraumatic rib fractures in the earlier term and are more common when compared to other segments. The segmental localization of rib fractures developing due to blunt thorax trauma is essential in terms of morbidities, and the decision of invasive or conservative treatment depends on this information.
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