advertisement
Updated 13 February 2013

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome consists of symptoms caused by compression of the nerves in the brachial plexus or blood vessels.

0

Description

Thoracic outlet syndrome consists of symptoms caused by compression of the nerves in the brachial plexus (nerves that pass into the arms from the neck) or blood vessels. Patients may have pain in the shoulder, arm or hand, or in all three locations.

The hand pain is often most severe in the fourth and fifth fingers. The pain is aggravated by the use of the arm and "fatigue" of the arm is often prominent.

Prognosis

The prognosis for the majority of individuals who receive therapy for thoracic outlet syndrome is good.

Treatment

The goals of treatment are two-fold: to correct postural abnormalities that might contribute to the compression and to establish an exercise program to strengthen the shoulder muscles.

Most often a conservative course of treatment is followed. If vascular or major neurological impairment is present, surgical decompression may be considered. However, only a small number of patients require surgery.

(Reviewed by Dr Andrew Rose-Innes, Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine)

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Yoga »

Exercise time? Yoga mats matter Yoga and sleep

What yoga can do for you

Yoga is a stress-buster, but it also helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, back pain and other ills.

Allergy alert »

Allergy myths Cold or allergy? Children and allergies

Allergy facts vs. fiction

Some of the greatest allergy myths and misconceptions can actually be damaging to your health.