The effectiveness of costal cartilage excision in children for slipping rib syndrome

Published:September 30, 2016DOI:



      Slipping rib syndrome (SRS) is an elusive diagnosis. Previous reports have been single cases or small series. We previously reported a small multicenter review with encouraging early results. We now describe our matured experience.


      This is a follow-up study of patients with SRS from 2006 to 2015. Included are 5 previously analyzed patients and 25 new patients. Patients were called to review current symptoms, course, and satisfaction.


      From 2006 to 2015, 30 patients underwent 38 operations. Eight underwent re-operation. All had reproducible pain localized to the costal margin, 60% had a popping sensation, and 23% were bilateral. 86% were female. Median age of symptom onset was 14 (IQR 13.75–15) years, while median age at diagnosis was 16 (IQR 15–17). Contact was possible with 18/30 patients, and mean follow up time was 1.3 years. 72% of those felt they were cured, and 44% rated satisfaction a 10/10 (mean 7.84). Of those not cured, all reported significant improvement.


      Costal cartilage excision is an effective treatment for SRS and should be considered early in the workup of costal margin pain in a normally active population.
      Case Series with no Comparison Group – Level IV.

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