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Sonography of occult rib and costal cartilage fractures: A case series
journal contributionposted on 18.03.2020, 00:00 by R Mattox, Kenneth Reckelhoff, AB Welk, NW Kettner
Objective: The purpose of this case series is to describe the use of diagnostic ultrasound (US) in the detection of occult rib and costal cartilage fractures presenting as chest wall pain to a chiropractic clinic. Clinical features: Three patients presented with chest wall pain and tenderness. Two of the patients presented with acute chest wall injury and 1 carried a previous diagnosis of rib fracture after trivial trauma 2 months earlier. Intervention and outcomes: Diagnostic US was selected as a non-ionizing imaging tool for these patients after negative digital radiography studies. All fractures were considered isolated as there was no associated injury, such as pneumothorax. Both of the acute cases were followed up to complete healing (evidence of osseous union) using US. All patients eventually achieved pain-free status. Conclusion: In these cases, US was more sensitive than radiography for diagnosing these cases of acute rib and costal cartilage fractures. Early recognition of rib injury could avoid potential complications from local manipulative therapy. © 2014 National University of Health Sciences.