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Old 01-31-2007, 06:43 PM   #1
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Question Tos

Would someone please tell me the symptoms, causes and definition of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? Where can I get this checked out?

Thanks,

binks

 
Old 01-31-2007, 06:56 PM   #2
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Re: Tos

You know, its funny you should mention it. I have always wondered if I had that because I researched it and it sounded like I had all the symptoms. if you do a google search, you will find TONS of stuff on that. No Dr. has ever mentioned me having it, though.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: Tos

I was just diagnosed with it after many many years of seeing many many doctors. I went to see a spinal orthopedist, who then sent me to a physical therapist. Why this physical therapist knew about this condition but every other one I have seen over the last 20 years did not, I do not understand. But maybe try seeing a specialist like a nerve specialist like I am going to see in a couple of weeks, and they might be more knowledgeable about being able to test you for that to see if that is what is causing your pain. I wish you luck!

 
Old 12-21-2007, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Tos

have any of you heard of elevations in blood pressure in chronic TOS due to the compression of the vagal nerve. incase you are not pruvy to the vagal nerve situation - it is a cranial nerve that passes through the medial scalenes and anterior scalenes (which are major components of TOS) on its way to innervating the diaphragm, heart, GI, and other anatomical structure. it plays a major role in heart rate and BP. well i have had severe TOS for the last couple of years and about a year ago my BP has gotten pretty high at times, just curious.
-Thanks ahead of time

 
Old 12-21-2007, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: Tos

Along with my cervical issues I have TOS. TOS is a problem that affects the nerves of the brachial plexus (the nerves that pass into the arms from the neck) and various nerves and blood vessels between the base of the neck and armpit. The nerves from C5-T1 in your neck combine once they exit the cervical spine to form the bundle.

Were you diagnosed with this? It is a pretty hard thing to diagnose and they usually need to rule out neck issues first. You might have both problems. You can have a trauma, like a fall or accident and compress the nerve. You can have what's called functional TOS which is from guarding and holding your arm wrong to protect it from pain. Excessive computer use/poor posture can aggravate it. Long list of types of TOS.

Symptoms might be:
Coldness in your hand, numbness, tingling, pain, heaviness feeling in your arm, weakness, chest pain, headaches, dizziness, and more. Symtpoms similar to cervical issues so both need investigation.

If you haven't see your personal physician you might want to start there.

 
Old 12-22-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: Tos

Exactly how is it diagnosed, anybody know? Will a thoracic MRI for sure reveal it (I've had one, "looked good")? I have a laundry list of symptoms, with really no improvement since my ACDF apprx 9 months ago, I mean a laundry list. Yes, chest, neck, arm pain still, numbness, tingling still, dizziness, balance junk still.....but, also very elevated BP, sudden onset when my other neuro stuff hit; I KNOW the high BP is related to everything else as it came on right when all the other crap got me and prior I ALWAYS had a "runners low blood pressure." I do have confidence and like my NS. I only saw him twice after my surgery and after my 9 week follow up he told me I was 90% fused and looked great, though I still felt like you know what - haven't seen him since then. Hmmmm....could this be??? Guess I'll try to read up on this as well. Thanks guys. Mona

 
Old 12-22-2007, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Tos

Mona, I think I remember thinking to tell you about this and forgot. Aren't you the person who plays tennis? TOS can be produced by repetitive motion. You could very well have a compression lower down the root and blood vessells. It might be worth a discussion with dr. - a pain management doc would probably want to try an interscalene injection. Have you ever had blood pressure taken on both arms? Another sign could be a difference in blood pressure between the two arms.


I forgot to say, that TOS is the compression of the brachial plexus nerves after they exit the neck, it's where they pass through that groove that connects your neck and shoulder. Neurologic symptoms occur in 95% of cases. There isn't one test that tells them for sure, they look at the whole history, but if they do abduction of your arms and your radial pulse can't be felt , that's a good indicator that you might have it. Although there are people that fail this test and do not have it.

Another way to detect is for them to give you an interscalene injection (similar to the ESIs) but on the front of your neck in that groove and if certain pain symptoms resolve that may put them on that path. The lower roots of C5-T1 can have compression there and this may feel better.

Some MRIs may pick it up, but that is not guaranteed.

 
Old 12-23-2007, 08:34 AM   #8
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Re: Tos

Hi NP,

Thanks for the information. No, I'm not a tennis player, was a runner...am a runner when I can muster it up, but it's a struggle. I do have a couple of different docs to see in January. I am going to discuss this with them along with other ideas. I am hopeful, especially with one of them, that they'll actually listen to me, believe me - that I have these very real, terrible symptoms - and try to be a partner in helping me to get figured out; not just want to write an Rx and send me away. So far, I have not found a doc like that. I sort of just gave up for the last 6 months or so; trying to just get by. However, I am sick and tired of being sick....I've kept hoping for improvement, but it's just not happening. So...I am going to try, one more time, with some different docs to see if they are willing to listen and investigate. Thanks again NP for your input; I will read up more on this and throw this out there, even some of the ways to help rule it in or out, like you mentioned. I appreciate your knowledgable posts on this board; it's very helpful to me, and I'm sure, many others. Wishing you pain free, happy holidays. Mona

 
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