Definition of Syndrome, thoracic outlet

Syndrome, thoracic outlet: A condition due to compromise of blood vessels or nerve fibers between the armpit (axilla) and base of the neck, usually due to compression of nerves or blood vessels between the neck and shoulders. Symptoms include pain, arm weakness, and numbness in the hands and fingers.

Thoracic outlet syndrome can be caused by overstress from some types of manual work or exercise, injury, malformation, and less commonly by tumors of the top of the lung. Treatment is by physical therapy and antiinflammatory medication, and sometimes by surgery.

Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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