Sternal retraction can cause the first rib to be fractured posteriorly, injuring the brachial plexus. The authors conducted bone scans of 24 consecutive open-heart surgery patients and found an unexpectedly high number of rib fractures which in all but one case had not been seen on the chest radiograph. Bone scans are recommended whenever there is unexplained non-incisional pain in a patient who has undergone sternal retraction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging