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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is a painful condition affecting the nerves of the brachial plexus.  Patients typically experience pain in the neck and shoulder often radiating into the arm and hand (usually the last two fingers).  Symptoms are generally worse with activity and with the arms overhead. Patients are often presumed to be suffering with a spine problem or a pinched nerve in the arm.  Nerve studies often do not reveal the cause.

The most critical first step in the treatment of this problem is accurate diagnosis. At the Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology advanced techniques are available for diagnosing this disorder, including detailed nerve evaluations with the arms in the positions which produce the symptoms.  Additionally special MRI studies are available which assist in determining the exact source of the discomfort.

When the source is identified, many patients may experience relief of symptoms with proper therapy alone.  When the condition is more severe or abnormal structures are present, surgery is often an important part of the management.

Dr. Brown is a member of the scientific advisory board of the American TOS Association and gives talks about this condition at national meetings.

For more information please contact 619-543-5540, Dr. Brown.