thoracic outlet syndrome

Condition Uncommon

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Whats thoracic outlet syndrome?

TOS

Blood
TOS involves the lower portion of the brachial plexus, where nerves from the neck pass through a tunnel into the chest on the way to the arm. The plexus can get trapped in the outlet area, and this event can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, but can also affect blood vessels. On occasion, a congenital first rib can cause compression but trauma may also promote TOS.
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Dr. David T. Cooke answered:

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

Narrowing of space

Artery
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.
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Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome fatal?

No.

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There is no known mortality associated with thoracic outlet syndrome, but complications can arise during surgical treatment.
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can thoracic outlet syndrome be cured?

Quite often

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Several centers of expertise thruout the USA now exist with surgeons possessing great experience. Success rates are approaching 80-85 % in carefully selected cases, whose preoperative testing is definitive. Excellent outcomes can be found at UCLA, Johns Hopkins, Washington Univ. in St Louis, and PSL in Denver, Co.
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Dr. David T. Cooke answered:

How common is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Not very common

Artery
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)
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How can I treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic outlet

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Physiotherapy initially Surgery if symptoms continue.
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what's neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome?

Nerve symptoms

TOS caused by nerve & artery impingement as pass through costoclavicular dimension between clavicle (collar bone) & top first rib; space about one centimeter in life. When joints & muscles of shoulder girdle injured, space prematurely closes with arm raising. Nerve symptoms are tingling & numbness pinky side of hand & forearm. Artery symptoms of hand coolness & ischemia. Nerve symptoms dramatic.
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Dr. Daniel Clair answered:

What are tests for thoracic outlet syndrome?

No specific test

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Unfortunately, there is no specific "thoracic outlet syndrome test". There are a number of things that may lead your physician to consider this diagnosis, but quite frankly the diagnosis is often overlooked. Symptoms are pain above your collarbone or in the affected arm, but the process can also affect the vein and artery to the arm. Studies of the arteries and veins can confirm the diagnosis.
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Does Thoracic Outlet Syndrome run in the family?

No

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This is not a familial syndrome.
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Dr. Daniel Clair answered:

What are the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Pain, numbness

Thoracic_outlet_syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome can affect the vein, artery or nerves of the arms. Symptoms can include swelling of the arms, (vein compression) pain or numbness when using the arms overhead, or pain that can extend from the neck or shoulder down to the hands or fingers. Most symptoms are aggravated by doing things that narrow the space where vein, atery and nerve travelling to the arm are.
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