Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO)

Print Feedback Export to File
Journal Article 
Cervical rib: Report of thirty-one cases 
Henderson, MS 
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery: American Volume
ISSN: 0021-9355
EISSN: 1535-1386 
1. Cervical ribs are congenital deformities rarely causing symptoms until adolescence or later.

2. The deformity is usually bilateral (twenty-four out of thirty-one cases) and is more common in women than in men (twenty-two females and nine males).

3. The size of the cervical rib is not the index to the symptoms.

4. It is estimated that only 10 per cent. of cervical ribs cause symptoms. Out of the thirty-one cases in this report eighteen gave no subjective symptoms.

5. Brachial neuritis may be caused by cervical ribs. This neuritis may be caused by a lack of harmony (embryologically) between the first dorsal rib and the site of exit of the roots of the nerves. The roots of the nerves may have their exit low and be subjected to pressure by a normal first dorsal rib or they may have a normal position and the first rib be high. We have had one case of brachial neuritis associated with tuberculous glands of the neck when during the course of the removal of the glands the first dorsal rib was seen to be high and to impinge on the nerves. It was removed with complete relief from symptoms.

6. The theory of the difference in the site of exit of the nerve roots may explain the lack of symptoms in certain patients having well-developed cervical ribs whereas other patients with smaller cervical ribs give pronounced symptoms.