Patient Comments: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your thoracic outlet syndrome?

Comment from: rain, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome last week. I woke up with my hand so numb and my shoulder hurting. I can hardly use the arm and hand.

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Comment from: ldchapman, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome about 2 months ago. I had constant knots in neck and shoulders and both arm weakness when doing any activity, especially over the shoulders (fixing hair). I have begun to develop another symptom here recently and I am confused if it is related to thoracic outlet syndrome or not. I have been getting aggravating muscle twitches in the back of my right arm and in my right thigh muscle. It is very annoying and has been constantly off and on for about 5 days.

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Comment from: not crazy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

A number of years ago I was having issues with pain across my chest. I went to see a number of doctors and their nurse practitioners, a number of whom thought I was a hypochondriac but a spine specialist found out that I had thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). I even saw a specialist for TOS and he wanted to do surgery but I would not do it and now I am seeing a chiropractor for it and receiving some relief from the pain. I had seen some physical therapists who helped but I now know that I have to do some exercises regularly for it. I also have been checked for an extra rib and I do not have one.

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Comment from: sjpodr, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I am 41 now and was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) in 2000. The hand surgeon, who was supposed to be the best, was pretty lost with a diagnosis. The night before my last appointment, lying in bed, I put my arm across the pillow next to me and within seconds my arm was asleep. When I told the doctor this, he instantly did physical tests and diagnosed me. He told me that only accident victims get TOS and that apparently mine was natural. Sent me off for physical therapy (PT) and it was useless and horrible. For several years I suffered with my issues, the numbness, the feeling that something is clamped on my wrist keeping me from writing, the tightness and pain in my shoulder muscle, and the migraine feeling I kept getting. In 2009 I had a car accident. They told me I had a herniated disc at the bottom of my neck. I was sent for PT. The exercises actually made me feel better with the TOS and most of the issues subsided for the most part (still have issues with the achiness and clamp on my wrist feeling). Well, now in 2014 I am having issues with my left side and I have no idea what to do. I don't want to go back to the same doctor. I have no idea if there are new procedures or medications.

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Comment from: Chrissiee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

The symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome happened yesterday. Early morning I noticed the first of symptoms of pain, and I thought I pulled a muscle. When I woke up I was very tired, and raising my arm was so painful. Taking a shower was extreme pain, and my arms really felt heavy. When I got out of the shower my left arm and hand was purple. I went to the emergency room, I did not have any labored breathing. They checked me for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and luckily I was clear. As the time progressed my arm felt pain, and felt heavy. My neck, collar bone region and my shoulders really hurt. It also really hurt under my armpit area and I have swollen gland on my left side. They really did not know what it was other than my Raynaud's and nerve involvement. I went home, and it was hard to sleep, and I woke up with my hand, wrist and arm swollen. I then remembered I broke my collar bone in the past so I went in to get an x-ray. They had a very hard time to find my radial pulse, and because I have issues with my blood clotting they also sent a stat referral to vascular doctor for testing. I requested a sling, and with that they did give me an x-ray. I am waiting for x-ray results, and seeing vascular doctor tomorrow.

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Comment from: Mom of patient, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 22

My son had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) after 8 years of pain. I wish I could have those 8 years back because he is now a happy young man. The key is to find a doctor with experience. I found a wonderful doctor who had performed a number of surgeries, including on a major league pitcher. He is a thoracic cardiologist. I urge anyone suffering to get the best help available.

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment or therapy have you received for 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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