Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to a group of conditions that develop when the blood vessels or nerves in the thoracic outlet become compressed. The thoracic outlet is the narrow space between the collarbone and first rib. This area contains blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that extend from the back of the arms.
Thoracic outlet syndrome causes pain in the shoulders, arms, and neck. It often also causes numbness in the fingers and hands. This syndrome can be treated by a specialist thoracic surgeon.
Therefore, if you are suffering from thoracis outlet syndrome, then book an appointment with a qualified cardiac-thoracic and vascular surgeon in Dubai immediately. Here is everything you need to know about this syndrome.
Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions that affect the arms, shoulders, and neck. The symptoms may vary depending on if the nerves or blood vessels become compressed.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain in parts of the neck, shoulder, arm, or hand
- Numbness in the forearm and fingers
- Weakened grip of the hands
Other symptoms may include:
- Hands or arms that feel cold to the touch
- Discoloration of the arm or hand
- Hands or arms that tire out easily
- Muscle wasting in the fleshy base of your thumb
- Blood clot in veins or arteries in the upper area of your body
- Lack of color (pallor) in one or more of your fingers or your entire hand
- Weak or no pulse in the affected arm
If you are constantly experiencing the above mentioned symptoms for an extended period of time, then you should visit a doctor. A thoracic surgeon is a specialized doctor that can treat thoracic outlet syndrome and other related conditions.
The major cause of this syndrome is the compression of the nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet, which is the area just beneath the collar bone and above the first rib. This compression can be caused by a number of reasons, such as:
- Anatomical defects, such as having an extra rib
- Poor posture for extended period of time can cause compression
- Traumatic accidents such as car accident that affects the thoracic region
- Overuse of shoulders and arms
If any of these causes apply to you, and you are experiencing symptoms, then seek immediate attention from a specialist thoracic surgeon. If left untreated for an extended period of time, then the condition can worsen. This may require surgery.
If you are suspected of having thoracic outlet syndrome, then your doctor will conduct various physical tests and examinations to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy to stretch shoulder muscles and open the thoracic outlet
- Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, redness, and pain
- Clot-dissolving medications if you are experiencing blood clots in the upper areas of the body
- Diet to reduce weight and pressure on the joints
In some cases, you may be directed to a specialist cardiac-thoracic and vascular surgeon for surgery. A cardiac-thoracic and vascular surgeon is specialized in surgeries involving the chest and blood vessels.
Surgery may be required in cases where symptoms are severe and when there is no improvement from other treatment plans, such as physical therapy. Surgery may involve removing an extra rib, rerouting blood vessels around the thoracic outlet, or angioplasty in the case of extremely narrowed vessels in the thoracic outlet.
Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms of this syndrome, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A thoracic and vascular surgeon will be highly-qualified to provide treatment, and if necessary, surgery, for this condition.
For the best cardiac-thoracic and vascular surgeon in Dubai, visit Professor Dr. Uwe Klima at the German Heart Centre. Professor Dr. Uwe Klima is a highly specialized thoracic surgeon in Dubai, with several years of extensive experience treating patients with thoracic and vascular-related problems, such as thoracic outlet syndrome. Contact us now to book an appointment!