thoracic outlet syndrome

  1. Hi. Does anyone know what specialty oversees thoracic outlet syndrome? Does anyone know any effective treatments? I was in a bad MVA in Feb/05 and am now being diagnosed with this. They are concerned for my ability to lift patients and other assorted physical tasks. I was not aware of this diagnosis before this. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Donnetterr
    My fiance has that, and he sees a neurologist for it. His symptoms include: arms fall asleep and blood flow stops while he is sleeping, myoclonus as he is falling asleep, and intermittent grip strength problems, particularly in the right arm. Sometimes, when he wakes up he can lift his right arm using the other hand and it drops back to the bed, dead weight. Then he says it's odd to feel the blood flow returning to the arm.

    He has not had to have surgery, yet, and he does exercises using one of those hand-held squeezers while he is watching television. He is 33, and he's had this since he had a bike accident when he was a teenager. It does not affect his employment yet, and we hope it never will.

    Look for a good neurologist, preferably someone who specializes in the thoracic area.
  4. by   sanctuary
    Yep, a neurologist or neurosurgeon will be the specialist for you. Donnetterr gives an excellent description of signs and symptoms. Funny how we learn better if the info comes from our personal life. I first learned about it when my SO was injured at work.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
  6. by   grimmy
    [font="book antiqua"]our thoracic surgeons have done some resections of first ribs for certain cases of thoracic outlet syndrome. a lot will depend on the severity of symptoms, your overall health, and how well you respond to more conservative therapies (like pt and ot). some neuro docs won't touch it because of a) the possibility of chronic pneumothorax, b) thoracic outlet syndrome with a vascular etiology, or c) an unknown etiology (i.e. congenital abnormality).

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