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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Alternate Names : True Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Disputed Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Arterial Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Thoracic outlet syndrome includes those disorders that result in compression of nerves or blood vessels supplying the arms.

What is going on in the body?

The thoracic outlet is the area of the body between the collarbone and the rib cage. Veins, nerves, and arteries come through this opening. When the blood vessels or nerves are compressed or squeezed, the pressure causes the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Causes of thoracic outlet may include:

  • injury to the area of the collarbone or upper ribs
  • spinal problems, such as a herniated disk that may compress the nerves
  • bony protrusions on the spinal column near the thoracic outlet
  • an extra rib or other abnormality present at birth
  • pregnancy
  • repetitive stress injury from activities that may compress the nerves, arteries, or veins
  • Sometimes a cause cannot be identified.


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    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/03/01

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