A patient from Lang Son Province in northern Vietnam sought medical attention for a pain in the right neck and shoulder, only to unexpectedly uncover the presence of an additional rib growing on the seventh cervical vertebra -- a condition known as cervical rib disease that is relatively rare and lacks a known cause.
Lang Son General Hospital on Friday afternoon announced the successful surgical intervention on Vi Thi Th., a 22-year-old technical worker from Lang Son, who resorted to medical attention due to pains in the right neck, shoulder, and arm.
Upon Th.’s admission to the hospital, a small 2.5cm tumor was discovered in her supraclavicular fossa, accompanied by a systolic murmur and numbness in the right hand that worsened with movement.
Following a cervical spine computed tomography scan, it was revealed that the spinous process on the right side of the seventh cervical vertebra was overdeveloped, resulting in the growth of an extra rib and compression on the subclavian artery, vertebral artery, and the right brachial plexus.
|A medical scan shows Vi Thi Th.'s abnormal bone mass. Photo: Supplied
This condition, commonly referred to as the seventh cervical rib disease, is considered rare, and its cause remains unknown despite ongoing research.
Vi Hong Duc, a professional from the department of neurosurgery - thoracic surgery at Lang Son General Hospital explained that cervical vertebrae do not typically align with ribs.
In Th.’s case, the overdeveloped spinous process and the extra rib on the seventh cervical vertebra were pressing on nerve blood vessels, posing risks of anemia, pain, muscle atrophy, and hand paralysis if left untreated.
On December 13, surgeons from the neuro-thoracic department successfully conducted a challenging surgical procedure, lasting one hour, to remove the deformed bone causing compression in the patient’s right neck.
The surgery, which is not frequently performed in some leading hospitals in Vietnam, marked the first time Lang Son General Hospital had undertaken such a procedure.
Post-surgery, the patient’s condition stabilized, with no signs of blood vessel or nerve compression, and normal movements were restored to the right hand.