5 mm reconstruction plates (Synthes, West Chester, PA), which were applied in bridging technique (Figure 5). This was followed by a median approach to the transverse sternal fracture. The
sternum had a diastasis of about 3 cm through which the mediastinal fat pad and pericardium was evident (Figure 2B). The video clip in the Additional file 1 shows the beating heart behind the sternal fracture. A 2.5 mm unicortical hole was drilled on each side of the fracture, to allow placement of a pointed Alectinib reduction tenaculum for anatomic reduction of the sternal fracture (Figure 6A). The fracture was then fixed with two 8-hole 3.5 mm third-tubular locking plates (Synthes), using unicortical locking head screws. This technique was used to avoid screw penetration across the far cortex, with the risk of a delayed arrosion of the pericardium (Figure 6B). Figure 5 Intraoperative fluoroscopy films of bilateral clavicle fracture fixation in bridging technique (left panels), and follow-up radiographs at 6 months, demonstrating the bilateral healed fractures (right panels). Figure 6 Intraoperative view of the technique for fracture reduction (A) and locked plating (B) of the displaced transverse sternum fracture. See text for details. After wound closure, the patient was carefully log-rolled into a right lateral decubitus position on a pre-positioned
beanbag, for operative fixation of the unstable T9 vertebral fracture. Two-level spinal fixation
from T8-T10 was performed using a titanium locking plate system (THOR™, Stryker, Allendale, NJ), through a less-invasive postero-lateral approach, click here as previously described . A tracheostomy was performed in the same session, due to the requirement of prolonged ventilation in the SICU. The postoperative chest radiographs demonstrates the plate fixation of bilateral clavicles, sternum, and thoracic spine (Figure 7A). The patient tolerated the surgical procedures well and remained enough hemodynamically stable throughout the case. He was weaned from mechanical ventilation, and the chest tubes were appropriately removed. The patient was transferred to an acute rehabilitative facility on postoperative day 16. Figure 7 Radiographic documentation demonstrating the sternal fracture and T9 spine fixation in antero-posterior chest X-ray (A), and in the lateral plane at 6 months follow-up (B). The patient was readmitted three weeks later, 6 weeks post injury, for acute fever, chills, and night sweats, in conjunction with increased oxygen requirement. A right-side chest drain was placed which showed purulent drainage, and the patient was diagnosed with a pleural empyema, likely related to a retained hemothorax. He underwent a video-assisted thoracoscopic pleural decortication. Two 32 French pleural chest drains were placed intraoperatively. The patient recovered well from the procedure, and he was treated with adjunctive antibiotics.