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Benefits of Rib Fixation

Rib fractures are one of the most common injuries, occurring in approximately 10 percent of all trauma patients.1 Compared to the non-surgical conservative treatment, several studies show support for the surgical stabilization of rib fractures (SSRF).

Benefits of rib fixation may include:


69% lower risk of mortality2

The majority (7/10) of reviews found significant reductions in mortality rate (between 56% and 76%) for patients undergoing surgical rib stabilization when compared to conservative treatment.


4.95 days fewer days of mechanical ventilation3

Studies of patients reporting mechanical ventilation after surgical rib stabilization found a reduction of days that a mechanical ventilator was needed.

ICU (1)

4.5 fewer days in the ICU2,4

ICU length of stay was found to be significantly shorter for surgical rib stabilization patients. Reported reductions range from 2 days to 6.5 days through various studies.


7.4 fewer days in the hospital5

Hospital length of stay was found to be shorter for surgical rib stabilization patients in all but one. Reductions in hospital stay range from 3.8 fewer days to 11.4 fewer days.


61% less risk of pneumonia3,6,7

Benefits from surgical rib stabilization ranged from 41% to 82% lower risk of pneumonia.

Trachea (1)

66% less risk of tracheostomy3

Patients who had surgical rib stabilization have shown to have a range of 41% lower to 88% lower risk of tracheostomy, an opening in the neck to place a tube into a person’s windpipe.

What are the risks associated with the surgical stabilization of rib fractures?

As with most surgery, comes risk. To help minimize risk, it is always important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative precautions.

For a complete list of risks associated with Zimmer Biomet’s RibFix products, see Patient Risk Information.

  1. F.M. Pieracci, et al., Consensus statement: Surgical stabilization of rib fractures rib fracture colloquium clinical practice guidelines, Injury (2016),
  2. Slobogean GP, MacPherson CA, Sun T, Pelletier ME, Hameed SM. Surgical fixation vs nonoperative management of flail chest: a meta-analysis. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2013;216(2):302- 311.e301.
  3. Liang YS, Yu KC, Wong CS, Kao Y, Tiong TY, Tam KW. Does Surgery Reduce the Risk of Complications Among Patients with Multiple Rib Fractures? A Meta- analysis. Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 2019;477(1):193-205
  4. Kasotakis G, Hasenboehler EA, Streib EW, et al. Operative fixation of rib fractures after blunt trauma: a practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2017;82(3):618-626.
  5. Liu X, Xiong K. Surgical management versus non-surgical management of rib fractures in chest trauma:a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of cardiothoracic surgery. 2019;14(1):45.
  6. Coughlin TA, Ng JW, Rollins KE, Forward DP, Ollivere BJ. Management of rib fractures in traumatic flail chest: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The bone & joint journal. 2016;98-b(8):1119-1125.
  7. Liang YS, Yu KC, Wong CS, Kao Y, Tiong TY, Tam KW. Does Surgery Reduce the Risk of Complications Among Patients with Multiple Rib Fractures? A Meta- analysis. Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 2019;477(1):193-205
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Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement or another treatment is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of implant wear, loosening or failure, and pain, swelling and infection. Zimmer Biomet does not practice medicine; only a surgeon can answer your questions regarding your individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.