Thoracic outlet syndrome
Which are the symptoms?
Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome vary depending on whether the brachial plexus or blood vessels are compressed.
- pain in the neck, shoulder, or hand
- weak grip
- numbness and formication in the hand
- weakness in the arm or neck
- discoloration of the skin
- swollen hand
- weak or absent pulse
- muscle atrophy
How is it diagnosed?
If the patient has the described symptoms, a more detailed examination is necessary to determine the exact cause of the problem. Diagnosing this syndrome is difficult because the symptoms vary from patient to patient.
How is it treated?
Treatment depends on whether thoracic outlet syndrome is neurogenic or vascular. Generally, the first approach to treatment is conservative, i.e., physical therapy and symptom control. If conservative treatment does not give the desired results, surgical intervention is necessary to decompress the nerves and vessels.