Cervical Rib – Cervical Rib – an overview

The occurrence of a cervical rib can cause a shape of thoracic outlet syndrome due to compression of the brachial plexus or subclavian artery. 

Cervical rib found in 0.5% of population and come out more frequently in women than in men. A cervical rib is an inborn abnormality condition, which means it is present at birth, though it is repeatedly not identify until adolescence or later when indicators and complications are more likely to arise.

This state is usually asymptomatic, meaning that there are no physical signs that it exists. Most people who have a cervical rib problem do not present any symptoms. In this situation, no cure is compulsory. Other patients begin to experience symptoms as they enter middle age, perhaps as a result of changes in posture and muscle tone.

The shoulders start to get loose in middle age, which causes the cervical rib to get dejected and thus compressing the vessels or nerve roots of the concerned region. For this reason, most cervical ribs are diagnosed in middle age; else they may remain asymptomatic and undiagnosed.
Clinical Features

  • Local Symptoms: There is frequently a tender supraclavicular lump which is bony hard and is fixed when palpated.
  • Sensory Symptoms: Tingling in hands or fingers and Pain may sometimes move downwards from the arm.
  • Motor Symptoms: Loss of gripping of the hand, dropping things from the hand and Wasting of palmar muscles.
  • Vascular Symptoms: Rare risk of gengrene, Skin colour (color) changes and Cold and clumpsy extremities in fingers.
    Diagnosis for Cervical Rib

Shoulder Abduction Test

  • X-ray
  • Foraminal Compression Test/Spurling’s Test
  • Adson’s Test

YouTube Video on Cervical Rib and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  Surgical treatment for thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Cervical Rib

Surgery is important in severe conditions, which are intolerable for the patients. It contains:

  • Removal of extra segment.
  • Dividing the scalene group of muscles.

Physiotherapy treatments

  • Start exercises to improve tone of small muscles of the arm and finger.
  • Deep Tissue Massage technique for TOS (thoracic Outlet Syndrome).
  • Specific exercises programs: Endurance training exercise for the shoulder girdle muscles, Progressive resistance exercises for shoulder girdle muscles with weight, self resisted scapular adduction and elevation.
  • Heat modalities.

Article References:- 

Cervical Ribs and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Patient.co.uk

Cervical rib | Radiology Reference Article | Radiopaedia.org

Management of cervical ribs and anomalous first ribs

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Learn about Signs and Symptoms

What is the treatment for cervical rib? » DoctorNDTV Queries