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.
Shoulder Pain. Thoracic outlet syndrome (tos) manifests as chromic shoulder pain, frequent episodes of arm going "to sleep" at night while reclined, and tingling and crawling sensations radiating into the arm, often into the pinky side of the hand.  the traditional explanation is that nerves and arteries going from the neck spine and from the core (thorax) of the body are pinched by tight scalene muscles, which.
Nerve and vascular. Nerves connecting the arm and the spinal cord pass into the chest through a tunnel termed the thoracic outlet. In close contact are blood vessels. The tunnel can become too narrow and compress the nerves and/or blood vessels, with attendant pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, change in arm color, and especial problems if the arm is elevated.

Related Questions

What is thoracic outlet syndrome release?

Surgery. Thoracic outlet surgery is done to remove pressure or compression of the nerve, artery, and vein going to the arm. This involves removing the first rib, and releasing any scar tissue present. This results in significant reduction in symptoms in most cases. Read more...

What's neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome?

TOS. Thoracic outlet may affect nerves in the brachial plexus, or the veins and arteries passing from the neck into the chest wall. If the problem spares the blood vessels, and affects the nerves only, causing pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, then the classification describes "neurogenic" tos. This is by far the most common presentation, and can be confirmed by sophisticated EMG testing. Read more...
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. Read more...

What are tests for thoracic outlet syndrome?

No specific test. 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. Read more...
EMG and Ultrasound. A few new approaches to diagnose tos are available now. Ultrasound imaging may demonstrate the narrowing than compresses nerves and blood vessels. New EMG techniques can show abnormal nerve function over the thoracic outlet. Angiographic imaging of blood vessels can display the local compressions. Read more...

What are the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Pain, numbness. 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. Read more...

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

Thoracic outlet. Symptoms include vague pain in the upper arm and axilla. Frequently, numbness is felt into the hand, especially into the little and ring finger. Pain is usually exacerbated when the arms are placed at or above shoulder level. Diagnosis can be difficult. Initial treatment is pt. Results of surgery are unpredictable. Read more...
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...

What is the prognosis of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery?

Good but. usually surgery is the last thing you want to do for thoracic outlet syndrome because it is simple surgery but it could end up with an open chest and tubes in the chest and the recovery take a long time but the result are usually good if you need one get a second opinion and get done by a thoracic surgeon good luck. Read more...

What causes the recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome after having decompression surgery?

Poor luck. I'm so sorry that you've not found relief. This must be very painful and discouraging - but it is a very challenging condition and treatment often fails or is only partly successful. This info may explain: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/462166-treatment#showall Keep trying w/ Drs and find psychotherapy support to help you manage the pain and feelings. Best wishes! Read more...