For anyone suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) information about TOS is very impoortant, today we’ll be discussing the three different types of TOS. Neuropax Clinic is the place to go if you’re affected by this issue because they have one of the best St. Louis nerve surgeons, but more on that later! First, let’s learn more about TOS.
What Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
The thoracic outlet is the ring that the top ribs form, right below out collarbone. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is caused when the nerves or blood vessels are pressured by the rib, neck, or collarbone muscles that are on top of the thoracic outlet. This can be caused by many different reasons, including genetics, abnormal formation of muscle or the first rib, bodybuilding, whiplash injuries, and weight gain, among other reasons.
TOS causes symptoms such as pain or weakness in upper-body muscles such as the arms and shoulders, tingling or discomfort in the fingers, atrophy, and it can also cause the arms to tire very quickly. The symptoms may come and go and they can be exacerbated by keeping the arms held up. Over 90% of TOS cases are of the neurogenic type, but there are two other types of TOS, which we’ll discuss below.
Types of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
1. Neurogenic TOS
This is the most common type of TOS and it’s caused by a compression of the brachial plexus, which relates to the nerves found from the neck to the arm. The symptoms occur on the shoulders, arms, and hands, and they include pain, tingling, and numbness, as well as localized tenderness, pain, and muscle spasms. These symptoms may vary in intensity throughout the day and they can be intermittent as well. Neurogenic TOS can be debilitating and lead to chronic pain syndromes. It can be treated with physical therapy and surgery, which the Neuropax Clinic is prepared to provide.
2. Venous TOS
Venous TOS is caused by vein compression and it accounts for 5% of TOS cases. The symptoms include swelling of the arms, hands, or fingers, painful tingling in the arms and hands, and prominent veins along the hands, shoulders, and neck. Because the vein is compressed, it may lead to blood clots, which is what causes these symptoms and it’s known as effort thrombosis. This is a kind of deep vein thrombosis, which is common in the legs but can occur in the arms or shoulders as a result of TOS or surgery.
3. Arterial TOS
Lastly, arterial TOS is caused by artery compression and it’s the rarest type of TOS with only 1% of cases. Symptoms include cold and pale hands, arm and hand pain, artery blockage in the hands or arms, and subclavian artery aneurysm. Arterial TOS is caused by a congenital cervical rib or other anomalies in the bones.
For people that need surgery for TOS, the Neuropax Clinic provides the best option in St. Louis to finally alleviate that pain. Contact us at 314-434-7784, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the new patient form.