Patient Comments: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Treatment

What kinds of treatment or therapy have you received for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Comment from: suprised, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) just recently. I have extreme pain in my left arm to the point where driving is difficult as well as writing, and so on. I also have neck pain on left side. This showed up 6 months after an accident I have went through physiotherapy, had shots, drugs, and massages. I was diagnosed by a vascular surgeon, after many doctors thought I was nuts or told me to meditate. I am now scheduled for surgery in a week. I am a little skeptical, a lot optimistic but either way I don't see a better choice. I urge those who believe they have TOS to be your own advocate and researcher. Many doctors mocked me when I said I thought that I had TOS.

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Comment from: Tess, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I have thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) and am in my last week of physical therapy. I do my at-home therapy faithfully. My therapist stated I should have been showing some signs of improvement but I actually feel I'm getting worse. I'm a dental hygienist and I know my job is the cause, with the constant repetition and my arms being held out away from my body all day long. By the middle of each work day I have so much pain and heaviness. I don't want to move it. I just want to keep it hugged to my side. Unfortunately, my patients still need to be seen so I continue through the pain. My orthopedic doctor mentioned possible removal of a rib but we didn't go into great detail about that option yet. Next week is that appointment. I just know I can't keep working like this. If there are more people that had success with rib removal surgery I'd like to hear about it.

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Comment from: Lmak, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome 2 years ago and was offered keyhole surgery. There were no statistics as the operation had not been done before, it was a great success. I still get pins and needles in my hand when I've overdone things but it's a small price to pay not to be in agony anymore. I was turned away from so many doctors and hospitals but just kept going until someone took me seriously. I feel like I was given my life back ad hope there has been many more success stories since my operation.

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Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

After finally getting a diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome and being frustrated with standard physical therapy that would always cause my arm and fingers to go numb, I finally found out about Egoscue postural therapy. It is making a huge difference and I will not need to go under the knife for this condition.

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Comment from: epc238, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I suffer from bilateral thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), diagnosed a year ago. Nine to ten months ago I had surgery on the right side for TOS. I went to sleep for surgery with a fully functioning hand, and awakened to a brachial plexus injury, severely limiting use of my hand. Although I could make a fist, there is no strength behind it. I couldn't even squeeze play dough or hold a toothbrush. Turns out I did have cervical rib. I have pain on the surgical side on a daily basis, ranging from neck, shoulder blade, arm, hand, shoulder, and sometimes radiating into my ear. I have more frequent pain now than before the surgery. Sleeping is an issue. Nine plus months later, I have half my grip strength back, and zero pinch strength (thumb and index). I'm awaiting a second opinion before undergoing surgery for the other side. I have noticed my arm/hand on surgical side don't fatigue as easily now, but I'm not sure if I feel it was worth it. I'd most definitely do your homework and request a second opinion prior to surgery.

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Comment from: Court, 25-34 (Patient) Published: November 10

I suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome NTOS and being evaluated for VTOS. It is a daily struggle to maintain quality of life and amongst the list of symptoms mentioned there are many more that TOS can cause. It does affect a wide range of muscles and causes a great deal of symptoms. More research needs to be done and a greater awareness brought to this condition. I had symptoms and went undiagnosed for years despite seeing multiple doctors in multiple specialties. It is important to catch this early so it can be properly managed or the effects can be devastating. There is so much more to this condition than can be described from a medical standpoint and put down for people to read about this condition.

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your thoracic outlet syndrome?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Diagnostic Tests Question: What tests were used to diagnose your thoracic outlet syndrome?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Causes Question: What caused your thoracic outlet syndrome?

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