cervical rib

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it took 15 years and many visits to different doctors before i was finally diagnoised with a cervical rib, the physical pain and mental frustration i felt for all those years should not and would not have happened if doctors were trained to pursue a problem and not just giving up if something is not obvious, it was only because the doctors friend had this problem too, that she was able to give me an immediate diagnoises which was backed up by an x-ray and my 3 1/2 hour operation followed in just a couple of weeks removing my right side rib, it was also found i also had an extra rib on my left side which has never given me any problems. my arm and my hand were my biggest problem and it affected my work which was very stressful as 3 times i ended up going home as i could not function my right arm or hand properly. the pain would often wake me in the night and i would not know where to put my arm to make the pain go away and sitting still in the same postition for a while would bring on the pain, i remember school plays with dread as i knew having to sit through my childrens plays would bring on the pain, at the chest hospital they did the simplist of tests on me, all the doctor did was riase my arm level with my shoulder taking my pulse which then stopped, showing them that my vain was being pinched by my rib and stopping the blood supply up my arm and hand

i hope the failure to diagniose me for so long is just a one off

and i every sympathy with anyone who has or is suffering with this problem of a spare rib

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    hi i found you artical fasinating and a great relief. i started in june 2007 with what was diagnosed as a trapped nerve in my neck. although the pain subsided i continued to get bouts of pins and neaadles down the full length of my left arm and was told it was a symptom of the trapped nerve. gradually this worsened and the pain returned so bad in fact that like you it woke me during the night i couldnt get it comfortable and pain killers were brtely taking the edge off the pain.being in pain 24/7 was making me so weepy and really getting me down.one night i took myself to the A&E department as the pain was so bad,were i was finally x-rayed and diagnosed with Cervical Rib. I am now off work with it and waiting to hear from the surgical clinic to see about removing this EXTRA pair of ribs, it helps knowing that there is a cure to end this pain.

    sandie

    Isle of Man

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  • Posted

    please check the doc doing the operation out 200% b 4 having it done i had cervical rib removed in 2003 i still have limited use and movement of my arm 5 years later i was paralised for 9 months after surgery because of complications i am suing the doctors who done this and since starting the legal jargone i have found out its a very risky operation with loads that can go wrong routenly if you do go ahead and have the op dont be cut under the arm i wish i could go back and have my life with numb tinggly arm because a nerve was cut the pain i feel now is 100% worse than i could have imagined.my back and neck is permantlly damaged threw this operation please becarful and find a brachil plexus doctor

    wish you well

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  • Posted

    Please look at the last reply and think carefully about an op. I was told by my thoracix surgeon that an operation to remove was only 50/50 success rate. I was told I could be paralysed too so did not go ahead with it. Not with those odds anyhow. I am still suffering but if you read my aricle 58 and still suffering ,it will tell you what else you may expect and help you to prepare for it. I am still undergoing tests on my coranary and coroted artery. Look at the effect of removal and analyse the benifits and the risks, one may outweigh the other. Good luck

    Carolyn Sheffield

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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed over 10 years ago with one on my left side and have learned to live with it ever since. Stretching, working everyday on posture, regular visits to quiropractor, excercising to relief accumulated stress, and meditating. For your hands when they feel fatigued, grab a tight elastic band and place fingers through it till around your knuckles, then open hand, stretching the ruberband. It's amazing how it helps with the hand tension. As for posture, sit totally straight, almost pushing chest forward, and drop back shoulders, not forward... I find much relief with this and the blood circulates better in the arms.

    Good luck all, smile

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  • Posted

    I had extra ribs on both sides and had operations to have them removed, one in 1991 (right side cut just under arm) and the other about 1993 (left side cut under arm and across colar bone). Over the past few years I have really been suffering with my right side again, terrible pain towards the back of my shoulder blade when doing every day things and intense pain when lifting my arm about shoulder height. Found out yesterday after 2 years woth of physio, tablets, more physio, more tablets, xray, MRI that the surgeon only took 1/2 the rib away on the right hand side. So now have to wait for an appointment to see the original surgeon/consultant again - don't really want to if he done a bodge job last time! meanwhile more physio.......
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  • Posted

    I have only recently found out about my cervical rib and to be honest i am quite scared of having an operation. I am currently on drugs and medicine to reduce the swelling.

    Doctors told me i suffer from axillary/subclavian vein thrmbosis, anyone else suffered from thsi too??

    Please iw ould like to knowif by having all these drugs and no operation will it help... I am only 19 years old and enjoy alot of physical activity i dunno what i'll do if i cant play a hokcey match because of my condition.

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