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Thoracic outlet syndrome
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Thoracic outlet syndrome

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Contributors: Jamie Adams MD
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Compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet, located between the clavicle and first rib. The brachial plexus and/or subclavian vessels are typically involved. Causes include trauma or repetitive strain, congenital anatomical abnormalities, and compression from tumors or other lesions. Venous compression results in arm or neck pain, swelling, cyanosis, and/or venous distention. Arterial compression can cause color changes of the arm and diffuse arm or neck pain, and even lead to ischemia resulting in reduced / absent pulses, skin wounds, or gangrene. Compression of the brachial plexus can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, atrophy, or pain in the affected arm and hand.

Symptoms are often worse after repeated overhead activity. Symptoms resolve with conservative treatment in the majority of cases, with surgery as an option for severe cases.


G54.0 – Brachial plexus disorders

128210009 – Thoracic outlet syndrome

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Last Updated: 10/16/2018
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Thoracic outlet syndrome
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Thoracic outlet syndrome : Arm pain, Decreased touch sensation, Numbness, Shoulder pain, Hand weakness
Clinical image of Thoracic outlet syndrome
Koilonychia secondary to thoracic outlet syndrome.
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