Cervical Rib

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I've just been told that I have two cervical ribs and have to visit a surgeon.

This showed up in an xray on my neck, taken because I have dizzy spells, neck pain, headaches. I've also had aches in my right arm, tingling hand and have had both hands operated on for carpel tunnell release in the past.

However I'm now wondering if there is any connection with my extra ribs?

Has anyone else had similar effects?

I don't want to have an operation unless absolutely necessary as it sounds very dangerous by what I'm reading on website. thanks Sue

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue, your describing my symptoms exactly. I work in orthopaedics and one of our surgeons suggested a carpel tunnel release, luckily before that went ahead an xray showed bi-lateral cervical ribs. I had one removed on September 9th, the relief was instant, I'm due to see the surgeon next week about returning to work, I just have a little pain in my shoulder but my GP thinks that is from not using it properly when I was in pain bfore my op. I read everything I could before I went ahead and prepared myself for the worst scenario, but I'm absolutely over the moon after 2 years of pain.

    I would'nt dream of advising anyone to have an operation as huge as this one because I'm certainly not qualified to. Only you can make this decision, just think a really hard about it and way up the pro's and con's.

    Good luck with everything. smile


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  • Posted

    HI Sue, Well where to start!! I had the op in June to remove the cervical rib and first rib, its now Dec and i'm suffereing more than before, things were going well upto 8 weeks after the op, so i started to try and get a few things back to normal, and do a few things around the house, then suddenly i had pains in my left arm, I can hardly use either arms now. The symtoms i had before the op dictated the fact of having the op, had a huge lump from it, going into my shoulder, and all the other probs too. Had two surgeons in the op and they said they had never seen one so adcanced with such a lump. now i'm having more tests to try and determine whats going on, 6 months and still not able to do anything, even sleeping is too painful. Think the morale of this story is.. Don't try and do things too soon after, take your time and let things recover slowly. Plese take care and pop a line to say how your doing
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  • Posted

    I am under a specialist who has finally found I have \"extra ribs.\" From the age of 11 (I am now 34) I have had problems with my left hand, my little finger clawed and as time has gone on my hand has become weak, tingly, arm has loss of feeling and I struggle to do many things requiring fine motor skills. At times my left arm burns and then goes very numb. After so many tests and examinations I have finally been put in touch with a great specialist who within 5 minutes had said he thought I had these ribs.

    We are still investigating it as the moment and the odd thing about my case is my family history. Both my nieces have the same problem in their hand and my mother, brother and some aunts and uncles have been diagnosed with carpel tunnel (myself included at one point) and some have been operated on for carpel tunnel. Apparently cervical ribs are not hereditary, yet last week I found out my cousin has these extra ribs. The specialist was coming away from the fact that my symptoms were caused by these ribs. They felt I had a hereditary nerve disorder that all these other family members have and mine is simply aggravated by these ribs. I am wondering about this now I have read all your symptoms and found out about my cousin. My tests will be back shortly and I will be taking this new information to the specialist.

    As for whether the op is worth having I am in the same place as you. I hope you have trust in your doctor to give you the best advise and, like me, ask many many questions.

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  • Posted

    I too have extra cervical ribs and when I slipped a disk in my neck and back 2 years ago I started the journey down the TOS road. They call it thoracic outlet syndrome and it's horrid I had a year off work but had to return to see my son through uni. You seem to see the consultants and they don't want to risk operating so we are stuck taking tablets that don't really work and in constant pain. Is it just in this country that it's not really researched or understood or is it because it's in the neck area. One consultant told me that when he listened to the artery in my neck he could hear the restricted blood flow and then gave me a prescription for some MORE painkillers. Is it really that hard to treat?
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  • Posted

    hi i was diagnosed with one cervical rib in 2002 it took them a year to diagnose it and in that time i was treated for raynauds syndrome and carpel tunnel i had an anurysm which caused blod clots in my right arm cutting of my blood supply and causing the and of my finger to slowly die i was admitted to hospital i was in there for 2 months before they diagnosed and treated the problem in which time i developed gangrene in my finger and had the tip amputated and was told that i would prob die because of my anurysm and that i was going to lose my right arm eventually i had the rib removed and an artery removed from my leg to replace one in my shoulder that was damaged by my cervical rib which took 8 and a half hours in surgery i got to keep my arm but the recovery time was very slow it took a year of physio just to open my right hand properly and in the last year i have now been told i have one on the left side and i am booked in for surgery to have it removed in june i have constant pains in my neck and back and arms and now i am having problems on the right side again because of the graft i had done but i have been told i have to just live with that now and i am dreading having thu surgery on my lef side because of my past experiences just thought i would share my story ed
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