Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare disorder that causes pain and swelling in the neck, shoulder, arm, and/or hand. It occurs when one of the nerves or arteries in your thorax is pinched or compressed.
People with this condition experience chronic pain and swelling of the affected area which often decreases when resting the arm on a table but increases again with use. The pain can be persistent for years if left untreated and may sometimes be associated with numbness or weakness of certain muscles in the affected area. When the condition is caused by a traumatic injury, the symptoms may be sudden and severe.
The syndrome typically affects one side of the body only. In some cases both sides are affected.
TOS can be difficult to diagnose due to its wide variety of signs and symptoms and limited understanding of its causes. Many physicians use a set of diagnostic criteria developed by the Global Outcomes Collaboration to help in the diagnosis process. It can also be misdiagnosed as several other conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical radiculopathy, cervical spondylosis, or intervertebral disk problems like herniations or stenosis.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is unclear whether shoulder and arm symptoms should be counted, and those with thoracic outlet syndrome often have concurrent conditions, such as bursitis, that are difficult to diagnose. There is a possibility that TOS may be a form of chronic repetitive strain injury (RSI), most likely involving the shoulder muscles but possibly affecting other nearby tissues. The exact mechanism of TOS remains unclear.
Treatment may include narcotic pain medication for severe pain and muscle relaxants to help reduce pain. Physical therapy may also be prescribed to strengthen the muscles around the injury site and reduce pain by restoring normal range of motion (ROM). In severe cases, surgery may be required for scar tissue to be removed, or the affected nerve compressed or pinched in order to relieve pain and correct the problem.
The term thoracic outlet syndrome is often used synonymously with thoracic outlet syndrome complex (TOSC) to refer to a group of disorders that involve narrowing of the thoracic outlet. However, TOSC is not a medical term but rather a term used by some people who support a theory that chronic pain is caused by compression of nerves in the thorax (chest). If this theory were true, then many other chronic pains would likely belong in this category as well.
TOS, also known as thoracic outlet syndrome, is a medical condition that causes pain in the shoulder and arm due to pressure on nerves. The condition can result from pregnancy, surgery or from injury or disease. Other conditions that may cause TOS include thoracic outlet infections such as bacterial infections of the spine and the vertebrae; syringomyelia; spinal surgeons; common dislocations of the spine; Syringomyelia ; Spine Surgery , Spinal Cord injuries and Trauma . Additional factors affecting TOS include excessive weight and obesity.
As people with Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) age, the market for Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) treatments will continue to grow. According to a recently published study, the global Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) market is expected to reach a higher value and will continue growing at a compound annual growth rate. The study found that treatments for TOS are projected to grow at a high growth rate over the period and are set to absorb a 60% share of revenue during this period.