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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Cervical rib

Cervical rib

Cervical rib is an extra rib which arises from the seventh cervical vertebra. It is a congenital abnormality located above the normal first rib. It is an extra rib attacked to the seventh cervical vertebra.


The cervical rib can cause thoracic outlet syndrome due to compression of the lower trunk of the brachial plexus or subclavian artery. These structures get entrapped between the cervical rib and the scalenus muscle. Cervical rib arises for C7 vertebra

It is a congenital anamoly located over the first rib

Signs and symptoms of Cervical rib

  • Weakness of muscles in the hand, base of thumb
  • Neck pain
  • Pain radiating to the upper extremity
  • Positive Adson’s sign: In this sign the radial artery pulse is lost in the arm during abduction and external rotation of the shoulders.
  • Pain and paresthesia along the ulnar nerve course
  • Cold sensation in the hands
  • Gangrene
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Cervical rib palpable on examination
  • Swelling, cold sensation, cyanosis and tropic changes


  • Chest x-ray
  • Electromyogram


Excision of the cervical rib