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Thoracic outlet anatomy

Thoracic outlet anatomy

Overview

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare condition that occurs when there is compression of vessels and nerves in the area of the clavicle. This can happen when there is an extra cervical rib or because of a tight fibrous band that connects the spinal vertebra to the rib. There may be pain in the neck and shoulders, and numbess in the last 3 fingers and inner forearm. Thoracic outlet syndrome is usually treated with physical therapy which helps strengthen and straighten out the shoulders.

Review Date 10/23/2018

Updated by: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.