At West Coast Associates for Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, we are committed to providing our patients with the best and most effective treatment options for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). Comprised of three different forms, thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition in which nerves, arteries, and veins within the shoulder cavity are compressed, leading to a pain, numbness, and more.
Do you experience chronic pain in the shoulders and arms? If so, it’s possible that you may suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome. With proper treatment, thoracic outlet syndrome is a highly-treatable condition, but because the condition can vary from patient to patient, accurately diagnosing the different types of TOS can be fairly difficult. At West Coast Associates to Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, our thoracic surgeons are experts in treating the condition. To schedule an appointment with our physicians, please call 310.854.0909.
Top Four Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome is categorized into three types: vascular, neurogenic, and arterial TOS. Depending on which form of the condition a patient has, he or she could experience various symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and more. Though there are many symptoms associated with TOS, the following are the most identifiable and common.
Wasting of the thumb
When a patient suffers from neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, it’s possible that he or she could experience wasting in the fleshy base of the thumb. Called Gilliatt-Sumner hand, this condition occurs when the muscles around the base of the thumb begin to atrophy. This atrophy occurs because blood flow is being restricted to the hand due to compression within the thoracic outlet.
Numbness of the hands and fingers
Similar to Gillatt-Sumner hand, numbness can occur in patients suffering from TOS because of reduced blood flow to the extremities. Though not as severe as Gillatt-Sumner hand, numbness in the fingers could make gripping things difficult and uncomfortable, and even result in fatigue in the hand and arm.
Most often, this numbness occurs in the fourth and fifth fingers of the hand, and can be identified by a tingling, needle-like sensation in the fingers.
Discoloration of the arms and hands
When arteries and veins in the shoulder are compressed, less blood reaches the arms and hand. As mentioned, sometimes this can result in numbness in the extremities. Other times, however, this lack of blood can cause discoloration to occur in the affected arm, as well as causing the hand to become cold and pale. This poor circulation can also result in a weakened or even absent pulse in the arm.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Aches and pains in the shoulder and neck are some of the common symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. The pain can be sharp and burning, and may even extend down the shoulder to the arms and hands themselves.
Contact a Thoracic Expert Today
If you suffer from one or more of the above symptoms, it’s likely that you may be suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome. At West Coast Associates for Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, renowned surgeons Dr. Mahtabifard and Dr. Fuller are highly experienced in treating this condition. To schedule an appointment at either our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica office, please contact us today by calling 310.854.0909.