Cervical Rib Treatment

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kohel Tanwar 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1162 Reply

    Kohel Tanwar

    Cervical rib is an anatomical anomaly, which is congenital and lead to thoracic outlet syndrome later in life.


    What I wanna ask is that what are the options to treat a cervical rib? We know that thoracic outlet syndrome has many different treatment options, but I am just asking on cervical rib.


    What I got till now is – surgical and physiotherapy. What are the surgical options available. What kind of physiotherapy is needed?

  • #1262 Reply

    Kohel Tanwar


  • #1297 Reply

    Peter Parker

    The medical therapy is done to reduce the patient symptom due to compression. When the condition doesn’t improve surgical removal of the rib is necessary.


    This therapy is called resection of cervical rib.

  • #1299 Reply

    Jessica Jordon

    one thing we should remeber that cervical rib in most people remains asymptomatic throughout the life. So these people don’t need any treatment simply because they never sought for medical advise regarding this problem, or in most cases they don’t know they have a cervical rib.


    So when to initiate the treatment for cervical rib? Easy, only when it becomes symptomatic.


    Okay, when it becomes symptomatic? There may be many reasons – swimmers are affected due to repititive movement of their upper limb. Same reason applies to golf or javelin throwers. Sometimes injury to the neck or thorax, or an accident (car-accident commonly) may cause displacement of internal structures and subsequent triggering of  symptoms. People who work with their hands held upwards (painting the ceiling), who recently have a peripheral arterial disease, or who chronically use a bad posture may suffer from this problem.


    Now the treatment. Treatment would surely depend on the underlying cause –

    in most cases physiotherapy reduces symptoms. Physiotherapy is also indicated in people who have dislocation of internal structures.

    In case of peripheral arterial disease the disease is treated. Atherosclerosis or vasospasm may be such case. Similar in case of neurogenic problems.


    If no specific cause is not detected (in most of the cases) the patient is given some symptomatic therapy and is followed up. These may include but not limited to NSAID, CCB etc. The indication in most cases in to reduce pain, tingling sensation, and prevent thrombus formation (anticoagulants).


    If the person’s condition doesn’t improve there may be a need for decompression surgery. Though we need to remember that surgery is only indicated only if the symptoms doesn’t get reduced by other therapeutic options.


    Surgery include resection of the cervical rib, as told by @Peter Parker, in his previous reply. Though there are many other surgeries to decompress the underlying structures. Sometimes a fibrous band extending form the first rib can be the source of these problems and surgical incision through the fiber band is required.


    I think you got your answer @kohel, ask if you have any doubt in the topic.

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