Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

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    Thoracic outlet syndrome is attributed to diseases of the peripheral axons and capillaries, and it must be prevented by urgent treatment. The neck and arms are constantly moving actively throughout the day. During movement with an in-born anatomical feature (e.g. additional cervix ribs), the axons and capillaries are squeezed. A trauma to the capillaries and axons between the arteria subclavia and the rib gradually leads to excruciating soreness in the hands, accompanied by insensibility in the fingers, blemishing of the skin. Thoracic outlet syndrome is observed when working or playing sports, and it is advised not to postpone the treatment.

    What are the Symptoms?

    Quite frequently, a neural thoracic outlet syndrome is detected, and the particular feature is the squeezed bundle of axon roots. In this case, patients suffer from aching and fatigue in the upper limb, lack of sensation and prickling. The capillary malfunction is noted when the vein subclavia is squeezed. In this case, marbling or discoloration of the skin is observed. The most painful manifestations in the mixed thoracic outlet syndrome, when there is observed squeezing not only of the axons, but also of the capillaries in the thorax. A mixed disorder is manifested by aching in the neck and upper limbs, lack of feeling, as well as prickling and fatigue.

    What are the Causes?

    Thoracic outlet syndrome is provoked by the following:

    • Anatomical defects;
    • Slouching;
    • Injury.


    In the treatment plan, the use of remedial exercises is aimed at pandiculation of the upper extremities. Correct posture and exercise can change the position of the arteria subclavia in relation to the rib and remove the discomfort due to thoracic outlet syndrome.

    Operation is indicated for the complicated manifestation of the thoracic outlet syndrome. This can be the removal of an accessory cervical rib, or abscission as well. The operational treatment has a small risk of complications, but there may be a possible trauma to the brachial plexus. 

    If at the beginning of the development of the disease, treatment had already been received, and soon after that discomfort appeared, this may indicate the presence of progressive nerve damage and the need for surgery.

    For venous or arterial compression, the surgeon may administer drugs to dissolve blood clots before the operational intervention. In addition, in some cases, the surgeon may perform a procedure to remove a blood clot from a vein or artery, or perform a surgical correction of the vein or artery.

    Written by Touch of Health Posted on April 27, 2021

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