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Doctor insights on: Can Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Kill You By Damaging Important Nerves And Arteries

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Can thoracic outlet syndrome kill you by damaging important nerves and arteries?

Can thoracic outlet syndrome kill you by damaging important nerves and arteries?

Not definitely: Thoracic outlet syndrome can have a profound affect on quality of life, by impinging on either the artery, vein or nerve near the first rib. Removal of the first rib, either via the arm pit (axilla) or neck can alleviate those symptoms. ...Read more

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Dr. Suzanne Galli
1 Doctor shared a insight

Artery (Definition)

Arteries are defined as blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart (to either the body or lungs). Arteries: higher pressure, thicker walls, stretch (pulse) with each heart contraction & deliver blood to the arterioles which control the flow to individual capillaries. Veins are blood vessels which carry blood from capillaries back to the heart (body to right heart; ...Read more


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With thoracic outlet syndrome what is the chance of vein artery compression if arms are same color temp and not swollen? How large is risk of clots?

With thoracic outlet syndrome what is the chance of vein artery compression if arms are same color temp and not swollen? How large is risk of clots?

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 have arterial or venous thoracic outlet syndrome and have been lifting weights again. Is this safe? My hands are a little numb after.

I have arterial or venous thoracic outlet syndrome and have been lifting weights again. Is this safe? My hands are a little numb after.

Thoracic outlet: Syndrome is compression of nerves or blood vessels, or combination of both. The most common factors is muscle enlargement due to the weight lifting. I think you should not do any active upper body exercises. Rec.: see your physician for evaluation, patient education and proper referral for treatment. ...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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Having thoracic outlet syndrome issues because of first rib cartilage/ligament tear. Rib moves and irritates nerves. What can I do?

Having thoracic outlet syndrome issues because of first rib cartilage/ligament tear. Rib moves and irritates nerves. What can I do?

Testing: You should schedule an appointment with a neurologist. He or she can do a thorough exam and an emg. Do nut rush for a surgical treatment until these are done. ...Read more

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If untreated, how much bodily nerve damage can thoracic outlet syndrome cause?

Significant: Thoracic outlet syndrome can be frustrating as the nerve compression can lead to weakness and/or muscle wasting into the arm/upper extremity. Fortunately, it can be treated with some simple manual medicine techniques (i know because I had the unfortunate circumstance to suffer from it)...So if you can find a reputable osteopath he/she can help you recover. ...Read more

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Can Thoracic Outlet Syndrome affect breathing or the Phrenic Nerve?

Can Thoracic Outlet Syndrome affect breathing or the Phrenic Nerve?

TOS: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome involves the nerves traveling through the shoulder at the level of the 1st rib. The phrenic nerve does not typically travel through the outlet and is usually on the anterior scalene muscle that forms the anterior border of the outlet. Occasionally an accessory phrenic nerve may be dominant and travel through the outlet but I have not seen any cases with breathing problems. ...Read more

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Can thoracic outlet syndrome be treated if the nerve compression has been for 8 month, or surgery is necessary? And how much time does physicalT take

Can thoracic outlet syndrome be treated if the nerve compression has been for 8 month, or surgery is necessary? And how much time does physicalT take

Yes: 20y seeks non-operative therapy of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Neurovascular bundle impingement occurs in costo-clavicular dimension, the true Thoracic Outlet. Impingement is due to irregular clavicle motion w. abduction; caused by abnormal superior trapezius, ST, function; via ST overdeveloped or underdeveloped relative to muscles of inferior scapular draw, i.e., "crossed muscles". See a wise P.T. ...Read more

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Is there a chance that surgery won't help neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome? If so how often does this happen?

Is there a chance that surgery won't help neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome? If so how often does this happen?

Yes: Unfortunately, it is possible that it will not help but that goes for any surgery. The question is best answered by the surgeon himself. ...Read more

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First rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome 6 months ago still haven't gotten relief pain just as bad. Should I be concerned?

Yes: This is a difficult situation diagnosis to deal with. There can be other reasons for the pain and I think you should see your surgeon again, and possibly a pain specialist. ...Read more

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I'm looking for a doctor near los angeles who specializes in thoracic outlet syndrome. I don't have a diagnosis yet. How can I get a referral?

Ask your family doc!: I guess I'm confused. Why look for a doctor to treat thoracic outlet syndrome if you don't have a diagnosis? Wouldn't it be better to get a diagnosis first? Regardless, your family physician (who can assist you in reaching a diagnosis) can also refer you to someone who can treat you appropriately. Are you prepared to pay out of pocket? If not, limit yourself to those who accept your insurance. ...Read more

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Anyone out there ever treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Yes: There are three major types. The most common is related to pain and nerve compression. This one responds to physical therapy sometimes. The other two types may involve the artery or vein. These are less common. The treatment can be a bit controversial, espescially the nerve compression type. See a surgeon experienced in thoracic outlet disease such as a vascular or cardiothoracic surgeon. ...Read more

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Does thoracic outlet syndrome affect people at any age?

Yes: Often a congenital problem, so present from birth. May be missed, sometimes for years, depending on symptoms, so can present at any age. ...Read more

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Can Thoracic Outlet Syndrome ever become a serious issue?

Can Thoracic Outlet Syndrome ever become a serious issue?

TOS: There is neurogenic, arterial and venous types for TOS. Some that cause arterial or venous obstruction can cause arterial insurfficiency of the upper extremity or venous obstruction or DVT, which are obviously serious. Neurogenic type TOS can cause nerve injury to branches of the brachial plexus. Best to see a TOS surgeon and/or a neurologist who can evaluate you. Vascular TOS requires. .. ...Read more

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Where can I find a thoracic outlet syndrome specialist?

Where can I find a thoracic outlet syndrome specialist?

Check publications: Not a lot of people do thoracic outlet procedures well, or often. Those who do usually publish. Since most thoracic outlet issues are now treated with physical therapy, surgery has been relegated to a late option. There used to be several lectures at the surgical conferences about thoracic outlet therapy. Now it is unusual to find even one. ...Read more

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Can surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome make you worse?

Can surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome make you worse?

Tos: You should ask benefits vs risks to the surgeon. This is not a minor surgery and yes I have seen failed surgery with increased problems. U should be absolutely sure what u are undergoing this surgery fot ...Read more

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Can thoracic outlet syndrome & diabetes lead to problems?

Can thoracic outlet syndrome & diabetes lead to problems?

Neuropathy: The combination is not unusual, as diabetes often causes peripheral nerve problems, and leads to susceptibility to tos, if an injury were to occur. The diabetic individual may possess delayed healing, and thereby, the problem may eventuate in a surgical approach. ...Read more

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Can surgery actually make thoracic outlet syndrome worse?

Can surgery actually make thoracic outlet syndrome worse?

Yes: THis is usually true when it involves nerve compression rather than compression of blood vessels. Nerves can be damaged during surgery or scarring can compress nerves. This can happen in a small but real minority of persons. ...Read more

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Is a second operation for thoracic outlet syndrome common?

TOS: TOS is complex and usually responds to physical therapy. Before surgery, multiple tests and physical therapy are done. If you continue with symptoms after a TOS operation, you may need more evaluation, possibly a second opinion before consenting to a second operation. Take a friend with you to consult. Be well. ...Read more

Nerve (Definition)

The brain and spinal cord communicates with what is occurring in the internal organs and limbs by nerve fibers where are like electrical wires with insulation (myelin) and the "copper" (axon). Within brain and spinal cord these nerves connect to other nerves via synapses on both axons and dendrites. A nerve can carry information regarding sensations, and ...Read more


Dr. Bennett Machanic
315 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