oa South African Medical Journal - Cervical rib : report of a case

Volume 26, Issue 27
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A case of cervical rib is descriptionbed in which all the 3 main groups of symptoms associated with this condition were shown, viz., sensory, motor and vascular. The rib was unusual in that it was complete, and had 2 articulations- one with the 7th cervical vertebra and the other with a projection of bone coming up from the first rib. Following removal of the rib, there was a marked relief of symptoms. A brief review is given of the various theories about the symptoms associated with cervical ribs. Although the sensory and motor changes are undoubtedly due to pressure effects on the brachial plexus as it is nipped between the clavicle and the rib, there is still speculation whether the vascular changes are due to pressure on the sympathetic fibres which run in the lowest trunk of the plexus, or to pressure on the subclavian artery itself.

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