Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Below you will find more information about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is made up of a group of distinct disorders that affect the nerves in the brachial plexus (nerves that pass into the arms from the neck) and the subclavian artery and vein blood vessels between the base of the neck and axilla (armpit).

Diagnosis

Diagnosing thoracic outlet syndrome can be hard because the symptoms and severity of the symptoms can vary greatly among people with the disorder.

Treatment

Only a few patients need surgical decompression through either removal of the upper rib, muscle scraping, or scar tissue. Usually, continued and active postural changes along with physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, will suffice.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms include: Pain, particularly in the medial aspect of the arm, forearm, and the ring and small digits; paresthesias, often nocturnal, awakening the patient with pain or numbness; loss of dexterity; cold intolerance; occipital headache; and weakness.

Causes

Mainly, these disorders are produced by compression of the components of the brachial plexus (the large cluster of nerves that pass from the neck to the arm), the subclavian artery, or the subclavian vein. These subtypes are known as neurogenic TOS, arterial TOS, and venous TOS, respectively.

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