Korean J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.  2016 Feb;49(1):1-8. 10.5090/kjtcs.2016.49.1.1.

The Role of Minimally Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis in Rib Fixation: A Review

  • 1Department of Surgery, Elisabeth-Tweesteden Hospital, The Netherlands. m.bemelman@elisabeth.nl
  • 2Department of Surgery, University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands.


More than a century ago, the first scientific report was published about fracture fixation with plates. During the 1950's, open reduction and plate fixation for fractures were standardized by the founders of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur osteosynthesefragen/Association for the Study of Internal Fixation. Since the introduction of plate fixation for fractures, several plates and screws have been developed, all with their own characteristics. To accomplice more fracture stability, it was thought the bigger the plate, the better. The counter side was a compromised blood supply of the bone, often resulting in bone necrosis and ultimately delayed or non-union. With the search and development of new materials and techniques for fracture fixation, less invasive procedures have become increasingly popular. This resulted in the minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) technique for fracture fixation. With the MIPO technique, procedures could be performed with smaller incisions and thus with less soft tissue damage and a better preserved blood supply. The last 5 years rib fixation has become increasingly popular, rising evidence has become available suggesting that surgical rib fixation improves outcome of patients with a flail chest or isolated rib fractures. Many surgical approaches for rib fixation have been described in the old literature, however, most of these techniques are obscure nowadays. Currently mostly large incisions with considerable surgical insult are used to stabilize rib fractures. We think that MIPO deserves a place in the surgical treatment of rib fractures. We present the aspects of diagnosis, preoperative planning and operative techniques in regard to MIPO rib fixation.


Ribs; Minimally invasive surgery; Plate

MeSH Terms

Flail Chest
Fracture Fixation
Rib Fractures
Surgical Procedures, Minimally Invasive
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