Quantcast
atla.doereport.comatla.doereport.comThoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)



or
Search Language
Browse
Medical Illustrations
Medical Exhibits
Medical Animations
Medical Animation Titles
Medical Encyclopedia
Custom Interactive
Most Recent Uploads
Body Systems/Regions
Anatomy & Physiology
Cells & Tissues
Abdomen
Back and Spine
Foot and Ankle
Hand and Wrist
Head and Neck
Hip
Knee
Shoulder
Thorax
Medical Specialties
Anesthesiology
Cancer
Cardiology
Dentistry
Emergency Medicine
Gastroenterology
Infectious Diseases
Neurology/Neurosurgery
Nursing Home
Ob/Gyn
Orthopedics
Pathology
Pediatrics
Personal Injury
Plastic Surgery
Psychiatry
Radiology
Surgery
Urology/Nephrology
Account
Administrator Login
 
8/13/20
AAJ - Medical Demonstrative Evidence Medical Reference Library
Print this article
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) Loading image. Please wait...

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) consists of a group of distinct disorders that affect the nerves in the brachial plexus (nerves that pass into the arms from the neck) and various nerves and blood vessels between the base of the neck and axilla (armpit). For the most part, these disorders have very little in common except the site of occurrence. The disorders are complex, somewhat confusing, and poorly defined, each with various signs and symptoms of the upper limb.

True neurologic TOS is the only type with a clear definition that most scientists agree upon. The disorder is rare, typically painless, and caused by congenital anomalies (unusual anatomic features present at birth). It generally occurs in middle-aged women and almost always on one side of the body. Symptoms include weakness and wasting of hand muscles, and numbness in the hand.

Disputed TOS, also called common or non-specific TOS, is a highly controversial disorder. Some doctors do not believe it exists while others say it is very common. Because of this controversy, the disorder is referred to as "disputed TOS." Many scientists believe disputed TOS is caused by injury to the nerves in the brachial plexus. The most prominent symptom of the disorder is pain. Other symptoms include weakness and fatigue.

Arterial TOS occurs on one side of the body. It affects patients of both genders and at any age but often occurs in young people. Like true neurologic TOS, arterial TOS is rare and is caused by a congenital anomaly. Symptoms can include sensitivity to cold in the hands and fingers, numbness or pain in the fingers, and finger ulcers (sores) or severe limb ischemia (inadequate blood circulation).

Venous TOS is also a rare disorder that affects men and women equally. The exact cause of this type of TOS is unknown. It often develops suddenly, frequently following unusual, prolonged limb exertion.

Traumatic TOS may be caused by traumatic or repetitive activities such as a motor vehicle accident or hyperextension injury (for example, after a person overextends an arm during exercise or while reaching for an object). Pain is the most common symptom of this TOS, and often occurs with tenderness. Paresthesias (an abnormal burning or prickling sensation generally felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet), sensory loss, and weakness also occur. Certain body postures may exacerbate symptoms of the disorder.Loading image. Please wait...

Is there any treatment?
Treatment for individuals with TOS varies depending on the type. True neurologic TOS is generally effectively treated with surgery. Most other forms need only symptomatic treatment. Common or disputed TOS requires conservative treatment which may include drugs such as analgesics, and physical therapy to increase range of motion of the neck and shoulders, strengthen muscles, and induce better posture. Some cases of disputed TOS may require surgery (although, like the diagnosis, surgery is controversial). Heat, analgesics, and shoulder exercises have been used with limited success in individuals with traumatic TOS. Surgery may be needed in some cases. Vascular TOS often requires surgery.Loading image. Please wait...

What is the prognosis?
The prognosis for individuals with TOS varies according to the type. For the majority of individuals who receive treatment the prognosis for recovery is good.

Source: National Institutes of Health
Updated: October 11, 2002



Medical/Legal Disclaimer
Copyright © 2003 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Related Medical Demonstrative Evidence - click thumbnail to review.
Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Neuropathy -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome -
Medical Exhibit
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Mental Health Treatment Options
Mental Health Treatment Options -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Lupus
Lupus -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection
Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome with Resection of the First Rib and Scalene Muscles
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome with Resection of the First Rib and Scalene Muscles -
Medical Exhibit
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome -
Medical Exhibit
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Shingles
Shingles -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
Nonsurgical Treatments for TMJ Disorders (TMD)
Nonsurgical Treatments for TMJ Disorders (TMD) -
Medical Animation
Add to my lightbox
Find More Like This
How do I find a personal injury lawyer in my local area?
Find a personal injury lawyer in your local area using LEGALpointer™, a national directory of U.S. attorneys specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, medical product liability and other medical legal issues. Or, click on one of the following to see attorneys in your area: Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Washington D.C. (DC), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachussets (MA), Michigan (MI), (MN), Mississippi (MS), (MO), Montana (MT), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Nebraska (NE), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Puerto Rico (PR), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), Virginia (VA), Virgin Islands (VI), Vermont (VT), Washington (WA), West Virginia (WV), Wisconsin (WI).
Medical Legal Blog |Find a Lawyer | Hospital Marketing