Symptoms of TOS can be quite similar to other conditions, making it difficult to accurately diagnose. Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that you may experience are:
● Chest pain, which is often confused with a cardiac condition
● A sensation of throbbing near your clavicle (collarbone)
● Tingling, numbness, or weakness that can extend to the arm, hands, or fingers as a result of nerve compression
● Discoloration of your chest or arm from a lack of blood supply
● Muscle wasting in the thumb on the side of the affected shoulder
● Lack of pulse
● Cold hands and fingersIf You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.
The most common form of treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a course of physical therapy, particularly in the case of nerve involvement as in neurogenic TOS. Physical therapy will consist of specific exercises to target muscles affecting the thoracic outlet with the hope that in time as the muscles grow stronger, they will cause less pressure to be places on the nerves and blood vessels that exit through the thoracic outlet. Stretching exercises as well as posture education to help increase the space in the thoracic outlet will also be prescribed.
Medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and muscle relaxers may be considered.
In a small number of cases, if conservative measures have not worked to decrease pain and other symptoms, surgery may be indicated in order to increase the space in the passageway of the thoracic outlet. This surgery is called Thoracic Outlet Decompression and consists of a few different approaches that your surgeon may choose. These approaches are removal of the first rib or a removal of muscles with repair to any damaged blood vessels.