2 extra ribs found after months of pain

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Hi, i recently discovered after months of constant pain that i have 2 extra ribs

it started with a trapped nerve in my right arm which led to a massive headache for 5 weeks.

i had acupuncture which released the pain in my head but seemed to stay in my neck which turned into a very stiff neck and constant pain many painkillers diazapam amytryptaline and tramadol.

i recently had an xray which my dr was assuming it was cervical disc erosion however this has come back normal but to my astonishment have been told i do have 2 extra ribs!

i had never even heard of this syndrome but i am finally a little more at ease that im not going mad that there is something causing the constant pain. im just wondering how do you cope with this pain as it makes me just want to give up at times its so bad and makes me feel quite useless what do you do next when you have tried everything wheat bags heat rubs and too many medicines to count??? is there ever an end to this??[size=18:daa53cac04][/size:daa53cac04]

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Unfortunately not much of a cure... I tried physio and acupuncture, the physio made my symptoms worse and the acupuncture didn't help. That Is all I was recommended to try before surgery was offered.

    I had my left side removed in September and I'm due to have the other done on the 18th of this month sad

    Good luck with it, the pain is just awful.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jopo,

    that scares the hell out of me having them removed aswell..

    im off for more physio today only my 3rd session but im dreading it just been pulled about it hurts so much the pain is back in my arm today and my neck is just so painfull ive actually sat and cried this morning whilst getting dressed, i dont think people realise how painfull this can be ive now been off work since begining of november and my employers are looking less and less sympathetic as theyve never heard of 2 extra ribs beforesad put it this way i hope my physio nurse is understanding today or i may not go back for any more sessions sad i refuse to have acupuncture as the last one had me screaming in agony in the doctors surgery the dr thinks he may have trapped a nerve at the point of acupuncture its a case of taking the good days with the bad and i at the moment arent having many good days sad i wish i could see an end to the constant pain but for now its one day at a time sad

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  • Posted

    How are you getting on now??

    If the physio is so painful you shouldn't do it.

    There is an impingement there, so physio probably isn't going to help...

    The thought of surgery is a scary one... But to be relieved of these symptoms it is worth it.

    If you decide on surgery make sure your surgeon knows what he is doing.

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Ive now had the results of the mri scan and they were "normal". my dr has now referred me to a specialist which he is finding difficult as he isnt quite sure were to send me either up or down the country certainly not any of the 2 hospitals near to me sad to see what they want to do he said they may want to remove them which i knew may happen to be honest im at a point were i could rip them out myself at times sad im still taking gabapentin which has helped a lot

    the pain is still there all the time just it varies in how much sad however other things have been happening i forget things which is very stressfull and im dropping things more often i have shooting pains in my legs feet hands wrists and neck neck some days i feel as though ive been run over by a bus! so im looking forward to seeing the specialist for now smile

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  • Posted

    When they did the mri did they get you to move your arm above your head or anything??

    When I had mine I just led there, so had no compression as I wasn't in a position to cause compression... My surgeon asked if they asked me to raise my head or anything.

    I would recommend my surgeon in Lancaster(don't think I can give names here... but if I am allowed Mr Wilson), he was lovely, with a great bed side manner, has done multiple surgeries(100+) for this.

    Mine may not have gone smoothly, but he has had great results and only me and 1 other person had complications like mine. He made me feel very confident in him and his abilities. He also performs the surgery under the armpit so no collar bone scars.

    I know what you mean about wanting to rip them out... After the surgery there was an immediate relief... Even with the complications and the symptoms returning 4months later rolleyes

    Seeing a surgeon they will usually look at it in a way of you have an impingement on the nerves/arteries/veins so I will remove it... There is little chance of improvement with a big ol bone impinging nerves etc. How big are yours?

    The surgery was worth it I'm sure. I think to see results will just take time for me. There is another support forum if you feel you need others to talk to, a bit more active than here. Not sure about links, but google neuro talk and it will pop up. It is a thoracic outlet syndrome forum.

    It really is not an easy surgery I will be honest. They say you may go home in 24 hours, I cannot imagine leaving the next day, I felt like I had been hit by a truck and deff needed the morphine drip, for way more than 24 hours).

    Start preparing for it now, mentally and physically if you can. It is not an easy journey. If any surgeon wants to do both at once, decline!!! You will have little to no use of the arm for about 2 weeks.

    How are you doing? Are work being any better?

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Jopo,

    when i had the mri scan i was just laid flat and told not to move which was kind of hard when i seem to flinch alot sad im still waiting for an apointment with a specialist and have been signed off work for another 2 months.

    i definatley feel like something is getting trapped ie nerves or something as its exactly the same pain as i had when it originally started in my right arm back in august which is what the dr said was a trapped nerve i had a holiday booked at the time in greece and the holiday was just clouded by pain i could have cut my own arm off it was horrendous!

    i dont know how big the ribs are as i havent even seen an xray ive just been told by the dr that they are there as he has seen the results they seem to keep alot of information to themselves at times sad

    the thought of surgery really scares me however id rather have it and be rid of them as it seems to be really ruining my qualtiy of life i have an 8 month old grandaughter and am quite useless with her which is heartbreaking to say the least.

    my work have been ok so far but i think theyre losing patience with me as they dont really understand about this illness.

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  • Posted

    Hi all im very new here and very new to the term cervical rib as i have 2, i was just told yesterday. Im 42 and have been living with this pain all my life it has just become normal for me, plus i have had some back injuries and developed arthritis in the injured spots years ago. how ever recently ive been exibiting signs of pinched nerves, my arms have been loosing feeling my pinkiy and the next one to it as well as loss of feeling down the inner fore arms, intense headaches in the back of the neck. this wasnt the normal arthritic pain i have been suffering with (due to my unrelated accidents). So i went for an xray to check up and see what was going on. to my surprise i found out that it was possible for a human to develop a rib on the cervical c7 bone and so be it i have that (although i thought my dr said it was on c8 i cant remember if thats possible let me know?). He didnt seem overly concerned we did make an appointment with a neuroligist about it. My family dr said the only option is neurosurgery and he didnt recomend (although i neglected to tell him about the intense headaches). However as the rest of you know the pain has been ubearable at times lots of sleepless nights. Is surgery the only option? Have there been any succesful surgeries out there? just want some opinions or any help

    Thanks in advance


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  • Posted

    There have been plenty of successful surgeries.

    Make sure your surgeon is a specialist in the condition, how many he has done... There are lots of nerves involved.

    When you have the ribs there causing symptoms surgery tends to be the only successful option.

    Good luck!

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