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Doctor insights on: Alternative Treatments For Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

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Hi I am 45 years old I have a serious medical problem called thoracic outlet syndrome i need help. What treatments are available?

Hi I am 45 years old I have a serious medical problem called thoracic outlet syndrome i need help. What treatments are available?

Thoracic outlet: Physical therapy is able to help greater than 90% of people with this problem. For the rest, as a last resort, surgery including first rib resection is a possibility. ...Read more

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Dr. Bennett Machanic
314 doctors shared insights

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Definition)

A condition where the first rib or an extra rib causes compression between the clavicle and the rib of any one of the following three subclavian artery, ...Read more


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My PT has diagnosed me with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It's been 11 mths and 8 of them I did therapy with no change. What else can I do? It's worse now

My PT has diagnosed me with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It's been 11 mths and 8 of them I did therapy with no change. What else can I do? It's worse now

Evaluation: Need evaluation by a neurologist and physical and possible EMG tests that will tell if you need surgical intervention. If so need to find Thoracic Surgeon experienced with corrective procedure, and may still need follow up physical therapy once procedure completed. ...Read more

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Physical therapy didn't help with pain 4 months out of first rib resection for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. What's next?

Physical therapy didn't help with pain 4 months out of first rib resection for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. What's next?

2nd opinion: You may want to get second opinion just to see if there are any more conditions that could potentially be contributing to the pain. Hope you get feeling better. ...Read more

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Do you need physical therapy after having a first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome? My surgeon said I didn't but I'm not sure.

Do you need physical therapy after having a first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome? My surgeon said I didn't but I'm not sure.

Time For A Bar-B-Que: Physical therapy serves a useful purpose if you are stiff or have pain with certain motions.You need a few days to start healing before you start it.So,when you see your doctor again for a follow-up visit,discuss this with him/her if you feel that your are not getting better.In most cases you bounce back pretty easily,especially at your age,so don't worry too much unless its already been 2-3 weeks ...Read more

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What is the most common cause of thoracic outlet syndrome?

What is the most common cause of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Narrow space: The most common cause is a narrow space between the first rib and a muscle tendon from the anterior scalene muscle. Other causes included an aberrent cervical rib. ...Read more

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Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome and how can you help?

Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome and how can you help?

Depends: Thoracic outlet syndrome is compression of the nerve, artery, and vein at the thoracic outlet at the base of the neck. This can occur because of an extra rib, thickened muscles, or a previous collar bone fracture. The classic symptoms are neurologic, with the classic finding a decrease in arterial pressure with arm elevation. If there is no swelling or discoloration, venous obstruction is unlikely. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome and how can I address them?

What are the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome and how can I address them?

Depends: Thoracic outlet syndrome is compression of the nerve, artery, and vein at the thoracic outlet at the base of the neck. This can occur because of an extra rib, thickened muscles, or a previous collar bone fracture. The classic symptoms are neurologic, with the classic finding a decrease in arterial pressure with arm elevation. If there is no swelling or discoloration, venous obstruction is unlikely. ...Read more

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I am a weight lifter, am I possibly at more risk for thoracic outlet syndrome?

I am a weight lifter, am I possibly at more risk for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Possibly!: Compression of nerves and blood vessels can be caused by an extra cervical rib (above the first rib) or an abnormal tight band of tissue connecting the spinal vertebra to the rib. Many patients have injured the area in the past or overused the shoulder. Increased muscle mass can increase the chances of thoracic outlet syndrome. On the other hand, appropriate physical therapy may help relieve it. ...Read more

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Can thoracic outlet syndrome wrap around to ribcage?

Can thoracic outlet syndrome wrap around to ribcage?

NO: Thoracic outlet is part in the lower part of your neck where the nerves and blood vessels from the neck travels to the arms underneath the collar bone. The first rib frequently contributes to the problem besides the muscles and occasionally an abnormal rib known as cervical rib. ...Read more

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How risky is surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

How risky is surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Somewhat: Risks include: injury to arteries and veins injury to the nerve failure to accomplish goals of therapy pain. ...Read more

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Is thoracic outlet syndrome and pinched nerves the same?

Is thoracic outlet syndrome and pinched nerves the same?

Related: The thoracic outlet contains both a collection of nerves like the brachial plexus and blood vessels serving the arms. Any compromise of the to can cause symptoms affecting both the nerves and circulation by compression of either or both causing similar sensations of cold, numbness and tingling. Simple exercises such as wall push-ups can sometimes yield some relief. See a physical therapist or dr. ...Read more

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What is recovery like after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Piece of cake --: it will be ok -- if your doctor told you you needed the surgery then get it done and you will find relief of symptoms pain and numbness of your upper limb immediately ...Read more

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Will I need to have surgery to correct my thoracic outlet syndrome?

Possibly: As mentioned, surgery may be needed if conservative approaches fail. However, in my former rehab group, about 85% of tos pts responded fully to conservative measures, and never even saw a surgeon. Surgery would be critical if you have blood vessel compression especially associated with a cervical rib, and is often considered if pain is unremitting and associated with prog. Numb and weak hand. ...Read more

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Is thoracic outlet syndrome permanent? What if you get the surgery?

Is thoracic outlet syndrome permanent?  What if you get the surgery?

If the symptoms: were caused entirely by compression and damage is still reversible, surgery should be curative. Consult with a thoracic surgeon or vascular surgeon. ...Read more

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How can snapping scapula syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome be related?

How can snapping scapula syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome be related?

Muscle imbalances: Imo tos results from superior trapezius (st) weak & collar bone droops toward first rib closing costoclavicular space (between these bones) clipping artery & nerves to arm. Weak st conscripts neighbor levator scapulae (ls) to burden lifting scapula (sc) & 20 lb. Arm. Long & narrow, ls incurs chronic spasm, tendonitis at insertion on superior sc spine (pick-like), & snapping as shoulder rotates. ...Read more

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How are moderns results for surgery for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome?

TSO is caused by-: -pressure from outside of the nerves, it is not a neurological disease. Just like CTS is caused from pressure from outside of the nerve, not a neurological disease intrinsic to the median nerve. ...Read more