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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome 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.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome 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).

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Diagnosis

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

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome 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.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome 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.

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