Rib Fixation


Rib fixation with Synthes MatrixRib Fixation System is a safe procedure to perform fixation and stabilization of rib fractures.  This procedure is performed under general anesthesia with lung isolation.  The patient is positioned on the table on their side.  An incision is made over the area of rib fracture.  The fractured area is identified and fracture is reduced.  Either precontoured plates or intramedullary splint is used to fix the rib.

From Synthes

Precontoured plates

The MatrixRIB plates are precontoured to fit an average rib shape, which minimizes intraoperative bending. 

Four plates per side are available for rib 3, ribs 4-5, ribs 6-7 and ribs 8-9.

The plates have been developed based on a considerable body of literature and comprehensive research at the Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory (Portland, OR). The whole MatrixRIB system has been developed based on AO principles and approved by the AO Foundation

Minimally Invasive Technique

Intramedullary splints require small incisions and improve the ability to fix posterior rib fractures. Only one screw is needed to secure the splint. 

The intramedullary splints have a rectangular profile for rotational stability within the canal, and a locking feature to limit migration and rotation of the implant. 1

Stable Fixation

The MatrixRIB plates and splints are available with a locking design to provide a stable construct and offer stable fixation. 


Rib fixation using the MatrixRib Fixation system is a safe and effective treatment for rib fractures.  The risks of the operation are bleeding, infection, injury to the surrounding structures such as lung, intercostal nerves and blood vessels.  In addition there is a risk of developing pneumonia after the operation.


After the operation, patients wake up with one chest tube and a subcutaneous blake tube.  The chest tube will be removed when there is no air leak and minimal drainage.  The blake tube will be removed when there is minimal drainage.

Long Term Outcome

The surgical fixation of the rib after fracture may decrease pain and disability from rib fracture compare to treatment with pain medication alone.