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Slipping Rib Syndrome

Slipping rib syndrome is a chronic syndrome in which the lower ribs, most commonly the 8th-10th ribs, can become “detached” from their shared attachment to the sternum and can “slip” under the ribs above it. This leads to pinching of the nerves between the ribs and is associated with pain in that area that frequently travels from the front all the way along the rib to the back. Patients are often worked up for abdominal causes, such as gallbladder issues, and it can be hard to find a provider with expertise in this condition. This condition, which can lead to significant discomfort and distress for the patient, can very often be fixed with a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure.

For patients with the most classic type, when the 9th or 10th rib slips under the rib above, stabilizing the slipping rib with simple sutures, prevents the hypermobility and significantly reduces or even eliminates the pain in upwards in 90% of patients. Some patients have a more complex presentation, with multiple slipping ribs and instability of their rib attachments to the sternum. These patients may need a more complex repair that involves using bio-absorbable braces to provide structure to the chest wall, allowing it to heal in a more stable position.

Of course, not every patient with rib pain has slipping rib syndrome or will benefit from an operation. Dr. Krantz and his team provide a thorough evaluation and work with the patient and our advanced anesthesia pain clinic to determine the best course of treatment.

Dr. Krantz is one of the most experienced physicians with this condition in the Midwest and is happy to provide an evaluation in our functional chest wall clinic.

For More Information

To schedule an appointment with one of our thoracic surgeons, please call 847.570.2868.