n South African Journal of Surgery - Bilateral first rib fractures - case report and review : case report

Volume 45, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



From the time that they were originally described in 1869, first rib fractures have been a source of anxiety to attendant doctors. First rib fractures are associated with major thoracic trauma and predispose to injury of the subclavian vessels, brachial plexus and mediastinal structures. These complications invariably follow unilateral first rib fractures. In contrast, bilateral first rib fractures (BFRFs) may follow less significant thoracic trauma, suggesting that the mechanism of injury may be different. Furthermore, these injuries have rarely been reported to cause serious complications. The following report illustrates this point.

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