Thoracic outlet syndrome is diagnosed by
Thoracic outlet syndromes are a group of disorders that cause pain and abnormal nerve sensations in the neck, shoulder, arm,
a. There are no specific diagnostic tests for thoracic outlet syndromes.
b. The diagnosis is made by ruling out other diseases and by observing the patient.
c. Two nonspecific tests that can suggest the presence of thoracic outlet syndrome are the Adson test and the Allen test.
d. In the Adson test, the patient takes a deep breath and tilts his or her head back and turns it to one side.
e. In the Allen test, the arm in which the patient is experiencing symptoms is raised and rotated while the head is turned to the opposite side.
f. If the strength of the pulse is reduced in either of these two tests it indicates compression of the subclavian artery.
a. The main treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome is physical therapy.
b. Exercises aimed at improving the posture of the affected person are also useful.
c. In some cases, surgery can be performed to remove the cervical rib if this is causing the problem and physical therapy has failed to work.
d. Surgery is generally not used to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.