Do you experience chronic pain in the shoulders and arms? If so, it’s possible that you might be suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition in which nerves, arteries, and veins within the shoulder cavity get compressed, thereby leading to a pain, numbness, and more.
With proper treatment, thoracic outlet syndrome can be treated, but because the condition can vary from patient to patient, accurately diagnosing the different types of TOS can be fairly difficult. At HealthCare800, our Maryland based thoracic surgery specialists are committed to providing patients with the best and most effective treatment options for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). Thoracic outlet syndrome can be divided into three types: vascular, neurogenic, and arterial TOS.
Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Depending upon the condition the patient is suffering from, he/she could experience various symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and more. The most identifiable and common symptoms include:
WASTING OF THE THUMB – When a patient suffers from neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, they can experience wasting in the fleshy base of the thumb. Commonly known as Gilliatt-Sumner hand, this condition occurs when the muscles around the base of the thumb begin to atrophy. This atrophy is the result of blood flow being restricted to the hand due to compression within the thoracic outlet.
NUMBNESS OF THE HANDS & FINGERS – Likewise the Gillatt-Sumner hand, numbness can occur in patients suffering from TOS. Numbness is the result of the reduction in blood flow to the extremities. Although it is not as severe as Gillatt-Sumner hand, the numbness in the fingers can make your gripping power weak and uncomfortable. It can also result in fatigue in the hand and arm.
Often this numbness comes in the fourth and fifth finger of the hand and can be identified by a tingling, needle-like sensation in the fingers.
DISCOLORATION OF THE ARMS AND HANDS – When arteries and of the shoulder gets compressed, less blood reaches the arms and hands. Sometimes this can result in acute numbness in arms and fingers. Other times, the lack of blood flow can result in discolouration of the affected arm. It can also make your hand cold and pale. This poor circulation can also result in a weakened or even absent pulse in the arm.
SHOULDER AND NECK – Extremes of pains and aches in the shoulder and neck are some of the most common symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. The pain can be sharp and burning. Sometimes this pain can even extend down the shoulder to the arms and hands themselves.
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s time to seek an appointment with the thoracic specialist and get it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. The board certified experienced Maryland based thoracic surgery specialists are committed to the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of thoracic diseases. They adopt state-of-the-art surgical techniques and holistic therapies to treat their patients.
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