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Doctor insights on: Does Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Affect People At Any Age

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Does thoracic outlet syndrome affect people at any age?

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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Dr. Bennett Machanic
305 doctors shared insights

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Definition)

Thoracic outlet Syndrome is a medical condition caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels that run in the neck. Symptoms include pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, ...Read more


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Does surgery really only help 50-70% of people with thoracic outlet syndrome?

Does surgery really only help 50-70% of people with thoracic outlet syndrome?

85%-90% success: These results suggest that surgical decompression can alleviate pain and quality of life in patients with a wide range of abnormalities at the thoracic outlet. ...Read more

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Does surgery for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome have good results? Do people return to normal activity?

Does surgery for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome have good results?  Do people return to normal activity?

It can be fine: You need a competent surgeon and clear evidence that this is the correct diagnosis and no other option is available. The surgery can be very beneficial. ...Read more

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Having a hard time finding any success stories for people who have had a rib resected for thoracic outlet syndrome. Does this surgery work?

Having a hard time finding any success stories for people who have had a rib resected for thoracic outlet syndrome. Does this surgery work?

Yes: You are not looking hard enough. The first line of treatment is physical therapy, followed by life style modification, weight loss, etc. Surgery is a time tested therapy which has improved over time, and carries excellent results. ...Read more

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How do people do after first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome?

How do people do after first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Symptoms improve: TOS surgery can provide good relief of referred symptoms; however, there are many variables. The severity of the condition prior to surgical release and the health of the patient. With an accurate diagnosis and good surgical technique without complication there is a good chance that symptoms related to TOS will resolve. ...Read more

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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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What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

Narrowing of space: Thoracic outlet syndrome is narrowng of the space between the first rib and the anterior scalene muscle. The axillary vein and artery and brachial plexus nerve passes through this space. Narowing the space can pinch the artery, vein, nerve or all of the above. Also, a rare, abnormal cervical rib can cause the same problems. ...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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How common is thoracic outlet syndrome?

How common is thoracic outlet syndrome?

Not very common: Three manisfestations: 1. Pinching of the artery leading to the arm and hand (most common) 2. Pinching of the vein leading to the arm and hand, resulting in swelling (next common) 3. Pinching of the nerve resulting in various types of pain (not very common). ...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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