Understanding Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Get relief from neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome.Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, the most common type of thoracic outlet syndrome, is caused by compression of the brachial plexus by the scalenus anticus. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that go from the spinal cord and are responsible for controlling muscle movements and sensations in your arms, shoulders, and hands. 

This condition can cause many symptoms and can interfere with your daily activities. Consult with peripheral nerve pain surgeon Dr. Eric H. Williams for an evaluation and to discuss potential treatment options for your condition.

Symptoms of Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Symptoms can depend on what nerves are being compressed and can cause pain in the shoulders, hands, or neck. Some symptoms of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome are:

  • Tingling or numbness in your fingers or arms
  • Sensory loss or weakness
  • Temperature changes in the arms, fingers, or hands
  • Trouble raising your hands above your shoulders 

Common Causes 

Thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by a compression of the nerves in the area under your collarbone called the thoracic outlet. Compression of these nerves can be caused by factors such as:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Repetitive activity or movement
  • Constant joint pressure
  • Poor posture
  • Anatomical differences

Diagnosing the Condition

In order to diagnose neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome from other types of thoracic outlet syndrome such as vascular, testing may be done. The following may be used to diagnose the condition:

  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction study

Once a diagnosis is made and the type of thoracic outlet syndrome is determined, treatment options can be recommended based on your specific needs.

Surgery as a Treatment Option

The goal of treatment for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is to reduce compression of the brachial plexus. If conservative treatments such as pain management or physical therapy have not been effective in managing neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, surgery may be recommended. Surgery can be done to remove a small muscle in order to decompress the nerves of the brachial plexus.

If you are looking for a peripheral nerve surgeon to help you manage neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, contact Dr. Eric H. Williams. He can help diagnose your condition and discuss treatment options based on your specific type of thoracic outlet syndrome. To set up an appointment, contact us online or by calling the office at 410-709-3868.

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