One Out of Every 200 People Is Born With An Extra Rib

Adults are born with 206 bones, 24 of which are ribs — 12 on each side. However, approximately 1 out of every 200 people is born with an extra rib. This rib is referred to as the cervical rib. It’s present at birth and forms just above the first rib, growing at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. You can have a cervical rib on the right, left, or on both sides. It may be a fully-formed bony rib or a thin strand of tissue fibers that, in some cases, doesn’t even show up on an x-ray. Thankfully, in most cases cervical ribs don’t cause any problems, but if it presses on nearby nerves and blood vessels it can cause neck pain, numbness in the arm, and other symptoms, which are collectively known as “thoracic outlet syndrome.” If you are the proud owner of a cervical rib and are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor about surgical options to treat the condition.