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Rib fracture matrix - heals ribs fast

Instead of leaving ribs to heal themselves, the Synthes Rib Matrix procedure consists of tailor-made metal plates being pinned to broken bones, to speed up the healing process and alleviate pain. This technology is used to stabilise the rib fracture, pulling the ribs into place and relieving the pain immediately.

Mr Tom Routledge, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon at London Bridge Hospital performs the Synthes Rib Matrix: "Ribs can break very easily, in some cases just by coughing, however many of my patients have broken their ribs through horse riding accidents. Some of my patients have been previously told there is no treatment for broken ribs, and had resolved to taking pain killers for the foreseeable future. They were in vast amounts of pain, and could not see how they would live a regular pain-free life again. However, with the Synthes Rib Matrix, we are able to stabilise the fracture, pull the ribs back into the correct place and instantly relieve pain."

During the two-hour operation, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a titanium metal plate, which is sculpted to fit the anatomical contours of the patient's rib. The bone and rib are attached together with screws, which hold the bones in place.

"My Synthes Rib Matrix patients are in much better shape and are normally out of hospital two-three days after their operation. Pain tends to last a few days, rather than the weeks or months associated with traditional treatment. My patients are able to get back to living their normal lives soon after the operation and can even return to their sporting activities once they have fully recovered," he said.

Mr John Reay, Chief Executive Officer at London Bridge Hospital said: "Although the Synthes Rib Matrix has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, many doctors are not aware that the treatment is available to their patients who are suffering from broken ribs. London Bridge Hospital is pleased to offer this pioneering technology to treat broken ribs effectively and efficiently, relieving the patient from suffering huge amounts of pain and substantially reducing their recovery time, so that they are able to return to their normal lives as soon as possible."