Esophageal rupture from external blunt trauma has been infrequently reported. Rupture of the esophagus alone from blunt thoracic trauma is quite rare and to date has been a fatal injury. At the Milwaukee County Hospital, we recently treated a patient with rupture of the thoracic esophagus resulting from blunt chest trauma who survived because of unique and somewhat heroic therapy. In a review of the hospital records for the 15-year period 1947 to 1961 two unreported cases of esophageal injury from external blunt trauma were found. These 3 cases form the basis for this report.
Counting the 3 cases presented in this paper, there are 30 cases of esophageal injury due to external blunt trauma that we can find in the English language literature since 1900. Reports of esophageal rupture due to blast injury are not included in this summary.1-3
In our review of the literature, it became evident