Overview

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.

Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive injuries from job- or sports-related activities, certain anatomical defects (such as having an extra rib), and pregnancy. Sometimes doctors can't determine the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome usually involves physical therapy and pain relief measures. Most people improve with these approaches. In some cases, however, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Thoracic outlet syndrome care at Mayo Clinic

Aug. 27, 2016
References
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  2. Kuhn JE, et al. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2015;23:222.
  3. NINDS thoracic outlet syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/thoracic/thoracic.htm. Accessed May 31, 2016.
  4. Goshima K. Overview of thoracic outlet syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2016.
  5. Buller LT, et al. Thoracic outlet syndrome: Current concepts, imaging features, and therapeutic strategies. The American Journal of Orthopedics. 2015;44:376.
  6. Thoracic outlet syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00336. Accessed May 31, 2016.
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  8. Riggs EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 10, 2016.