Thoracic outlet syndrome includes a variety of conditions that compress the blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and first rib, which is known as the thoracic outlet.
Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The most common type of thoracic outlet syndrome, this condition occurs when the brachial plexus is compressed. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that run from the spinal cord and control muscles and sensations in the shoulder, arm, and hand.
Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
This condition occurs when one or more of the veins or arteries located under the collarbone are compressed.
Nonspecific-Type Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Also known as disputed thoracic outlet syndrome, this condition is characterized by chronic (long-lasting) pain in the chest area that tends to worsen with activity – but the cause of pain can’t be determined.
Thoracic outlet syndrome usually affects people between 20 and 40. Risk factors include:
- Birth disorders, such as an extra rib or an unusually tight, fibrous band that connects your spine to your rib
- Being female
- Poor posture
- Repetitive activity, such as baseball, basketball,volleyball, typing on a computer, working on an assembly line, or lifting items above your head
- Traumatic injury
The symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome may include:
- Blood clot in upper body veins or arteries
- Bluish discoloration of your hand
- Coldness in fingers, hands, or arms
- Numbness or tingling in your arms or fingers
- Pain and swelling in the arm
- Pain in your neck, shoulder, or hand
- Pallor (lack of color) in one or more fingers
- Throbbing lump near the collarbone
- Weak grip
- Weak or no pulse in one arm
- Weakness of your arm or neck
At the University of Miami Health System, our experts provide the latest in treatment options for thoracic outlet syndrome, which may include physical therapy or surgery.
Why Choose UHealth?
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to delivering the very best care. That’s why they offer the latest treatments – including limb salvage, endovascular grafting, and thoracic outlet decompression – to improve blood flow.
All the care you need, from one doctor. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures. That means you can have the same doctor for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.
Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms, and more every year. You can be confident you’re receiving the very best care from a doctor with advanced experience.