Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1999; 47(3): 183-187
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1013138
Original Thoracic

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Clinical Application of Biodegradable Rib Connecting Pins in Thoracotomy

T. Hirata, T. Fukuse, H. Mizuno, S. Hitomi, H. Wada
  • Department of Thoracic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


Background: To assess the usefulness in rib reconstruction of biodegradable connecting pins made of polylactide (PLA), PLA rib pins were compared with conventional non-absorbent aluminous ceramic rib pins (alumina rib pins) in terms of their ability for fixing and healing of cut ribs in thoracic surgery. Methods: There were 13 cases of rib fixation after thoracotomy using PLA rib pins and 11 cases using alumina rib pins, all of which were inserted into the medulla of the stump of the ribs that had been cut at thoracotomy to secure a larger surgical field. The observation period was 6 months after the operation. Results: The degree of vertical shift of the ribs connected with PLA rib pins was significantly reduced compared with the degree using alumina rib pins. In chest radiographs clear zones around the pins, indicating a delay in bone neogenesis, were observed frequently around the alumina rib pins but were absent around the PLA rib pins. Osteosynthesis using PLA rib pins was significantly more favorable than with alumina rib pins. Conclusions: These results demonstrated that the PLA rib pin was superior to the alumina rib pin for fixing and healing of the cut rib.