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You Flail I Wail

Author: Haroon Choudry, MS4, Justine Ko, MD, CAQ-SM
Peer and Final Editor: Alex Tomesch, MD, CAQ-SM

A 34-year-old male patient presents after being hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. The patient is in severe respiratory distress and a portion of his chest wall appears to be moving paradoxically to his respirations.

Image 1. Plain radiograph of the chest. (Case courtesy of Ian Bickle,, rID: 37961)


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[3] Majercik S, Pieracci FM. Chest Wall Trauma. Thorac Surg Clin. 2017 May;27(2):113-121. PMID: 28363365.

[4] Iqbal HJ, Alsousou J, Shah S, et al. Early surgical stabilization of complex chest wall injuries improves short-term patient outcomes. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2018;100:1298-308. PMID: 3006359