Dislocation of the ribs at their vertebral articulations is a very rare injury. Textbooks refer to the condition briefly or not at all. The literature is similarly meager in references. Schertlein1 says that there is but one recorded case in the German literature from 1909 to 1929 and cites Riedinger, who in 1888 compiled nine cases from the literature, of which only one could be regarded as a true luxation. Stewart and Warren2 published a review of ten cases and mention two others from the literature of over 200 years, adding a case of their own. Theirs is the only article on the subject in American literature since 1896 and the latter deals with a dislocation at the sternal extremity.3 Three cases have been reported since then in the German literature.4
Separation or dislocation of a rib may occur at its sternal or its vertebral attachment.