A case of a progressive ischemia of the right upper extremity in a 57-year-old male caused by primarily undiagnosed compression of a subclavian artery by an accessory cervical rib is presented. Critical limb ischemia persisting for 7 years despite conservative treatment and a thrombectomy of upper extremity arteries and thoracic sympathectomy, led to a loss of three fingers and development of a non-healing ulceration of right upper extremity. Eventually a cervical rib resection together with a subclavio-brachial venous bypass graft permanently reversed the critical limb ischemia and allowed the ulceration to heal.
The presented case underscores the importance of an early surgical intervention in patients with upper limb ischemia and anatomic abnormalities in a thoracic outlet.
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