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July 1966

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Arch Surg. 1966;93(1):71-74. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330010073010

ALL SHOULDER girdle compression syndromes have one problem in common1; compression of the brachial plexus and the subclavian artery and vein, usually between the clavicle and first rib (Fig 1). Grouping the separate syndromes under the single heading of thoracic outlet syndrome2 has allowed more accurate diagnostic and therapeutic measures to be established. Therefore, this syndrome should be considered in all neurologic and vascular complaints of the upper extermities:

1. Scalenus anticus

2. Hyperabduction

3. Costoclavicular

4. Cervical rib

5. Fractured clavicle

6. Cervicobrachial compression

7. Pneumatic hammer

8. Effort vein thrombosis

9. Subcoracoid pectoralis minor

10. First thoracic rib

Symptoms  Symptoms may be grouped into neurologic and vascular complaints. The most common neurologic symptom is aching pain in the side of back of the neck and extending across the shoulder and down the arm. The pain may radiate in all directions from the point of compression. Numbness

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