Objective: Few non-surgical conditions are more painful than rib fractures. There are a few methods for pain relief in patients with minor rib fractures. Methods: We used a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID, Naproxen sodium) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) to control pain of the patients with uncomplicated minor rib fractures. One hundred consecutive patients admitted to Kartal Education and Research Hospital Emergency Service, were randomized into four groups. The patients were assigned to one of the following pain treatments: NSAID, TENS, NSAID plus inactive TENS or placebo. The patients used NSAIDs and placebo four times a day and TENS twice a day for 3 days. All patients were asked to assess their pain level with a scoring system on days 0, 1 and 3. Results: The most effective treatment was TENS on days 1 and 3 (P<0.05). Although NSAID and NSAID plus inactive TENS controlled pain better than placebo on day 1 (P<0.05), this superiority did not continue to day 3 (P>0.05). There was no difference between NSAID and NSAID plus inactive TENS in controlling pain on either days 1 or 3. Conclusion: We conclude that TENS was more effective than NSAID or placebo in patients with uncomplicated minor rib fractures, because of its prominent and admirable efficacy in reduction of pain. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Oncel, M., Sencan, S., Yildiz, H., & Kurt, N. (2002). Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for pain management in patients with uncomplicated minor rib fractures. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 22(1), 13–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1010-7940(02)00206-3