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Flail Chest Secondary to Excessive Rib Resection in Idiopathic Scoliosis: Case Report

Winter, Robert B., MD

Case Reports

Study Design.  Case report.

Objectives.  To report a previously undescribed complication of scoliosis surgical treatment.

Summary of Background Data  None available.

Methods.  Clinical case analysis.

Results.  Excessive rib resection resulted in a permanent “flail” chest.

Conclusion.  Rib resection (“costoplasty”) is a valuable procedure for obtaining bone graft and for esthetic reduction of rib prominence, but excessive removal and especially done twice can produce major disability.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Acknowledgment date: June 12, 2001.

Acceptance date: September 17, 2001.

Device status category: 1.

Conflict of interest category: 12.

Address correspondence to

Robert B. Winter, MD

c/o Research Department

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

200 East University

St. Paul, MN 55110


© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.