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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Extra cervical vertebra?

 hydexxi - Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:42 pm

I am 28 years old, and have experience neck and shoulder pain for at least 6 years. Recently I started getting severe headaches (not a migraine), and numbness in my ring and pinky fingers. I visited a doctor today who preformed c-spine radiographs and with in 10 mins I was told I had an extra cervical vertebra. I have been referred for an EMG and PT. I have been searching the internet for a few hours, and can not find any information on the topic. I am thinking the doctor I saw today is mistaken, or I did not hear him right. I am pretty sure I do not have the extra rib that I have been coming across, as I figure that would have been discovered on some chest films I recently had taken. Have you heard of this? Is it so common that it is not talked about specifically?

Thank you
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:38 am

User avatar Hello,
It would be hard to miscount cervical vertebrae on xray. There may be an extra lower cervical vertebrae ie after C7 and before T1 ...a transitional vertebrae. With the lateral hand numbness, it would make sense. The lowest cervical intervertebral nerve root would supply innervation this area of the hand - typically C8 nerve root. Perhaps with the extra vertebrae there is some compromise or pinching of this nerve root. The EMG will help reveal any nerve involvement.

An MRI may also be helpful.

Let us know how it goes.
 hydexxi - Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:39 pm

Thank you for your response Tom. I had the EMG yesterday, and the neurologist told me to wear pads on my elbows. When I gave him a confused look and asked what that had to do with my neck, the neuroligist was silent for a moment and said "well your neck is fine too". So I guess that is good. At least there is no nerve damage at this point. My OT thinks it is because when I use my arms, I isolate them, and do not use my shoulder muscles and upper back to help. So the ulnar nerves are getting aggravated from that. I did get to look at my rads compared to a normal neck, and sure enough there were 8 vertebrae in mine. So from here, it is therapy to learn how to "live with it" and continue on. It sounds like the prognosis is good for me. I am feeling better and less anxious about the whole thing now. I just wish it made me taller, I am only 5'2"!
 deronny2000 - Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:47 pm

Ok soo I just found out that I have two extra cervical verterbra C8 and C9, two days ago. I have been searching the net for any records of this but apparently I don't think it is as common as extra lumbar vertebrae and extra others. I was told it shouldnt cause any problems. I got into an accident two days ago thus the revelation. I stumbled into this site and thought to reply you since you also have a C8. I am 26 and really havent had any problems since i was born except for tingling sensation or sometime numbness in my left hand and thats about it. I am a radiation therapist and I palpated my sisters neck since she has a long neck like mine and found she had 2 extra cervicals. Im guessing my grandmum and mum prolly has it too i will see them sometime and palpate them too! Hope you don't have any problesm with it. Im still researching and researching and would let you know if i find anything, im loooking to request for the guiness book of record LOL.

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