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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Are you dealing with the intense pain of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)? TOS describes a cluster of disorders characterized by the compression of the blood vessels and nerves located in the space between your collarbone and first rib. For people who experience TOS, it can be hard to escape the constant pain that results from this compression. If you’re suffering with TOS symptoms due to an accident or injury, it’s important to seek help from a personal injury lawyer specializing in thoracic outlet syndrome injury cases.

What Are the Causes of TOS?

Many TOS cases are caused by trauma. During a car accident, fall, or other type of injury-inducing event, internal changes can compress the nerves in the thoracic outlet. However, TOS injuries are often overlooked in the aftermath of an accident due to the fact that symptoms are often delayed.

Poor posture can also contribute to TOS. In many cases, repetitive tasks involved in a workplace environment can force a person to spend long hours in awkward positions that ultimately cause compression in the thoracic outlet region. Finally, it’s known that some anatomical defects can actually cause abnormal tightness in the spine and ribs that can contribute to the development of TOS.

How Serious Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

TOS is not something that should be ignored. Untreated TOS can leave a person with permanent dysfunction and disability. In some cases, TOS can lead to permanent nerve damage and neurological complications. In addition, it’s possible for TOS to cause permanent swelling and pain in the arms that can increase risks for developing a blood clot. Unfortunately, this can have life-threatening consequences for a person.

Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Symptoms of TOS can vary based on the type of TOS a person has developed. While most cases of TOS are “neurogenic” cases that involve compression of the nerves leading from the neck to the arm, some people will experience vein and artery compressions. The symptoms for neurogenic TOS include:

  • Pain the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands.
  • Numbness or tingling that extends to the arms and fingers.
  • A weak grip.

When a person develops venous TOS, the subclavian vein located under the collarbone is compressed. This is considered a more serious medical situation. The signs and symptoms of venous TOS can include:

  • Discoloration of the hands. They often take on a blue or purple coloring.
  • Discoloration or paleness of the fingers.
  • A throbbing lump near the collarbone.
  • Pain and swelling in the arms.
  • Arm fatigue.
  • Atrophy of the thumb pad.
  • Blood clots.

The final type of TOS is arterial TOS. Arterial TOS occurs when one of the arteries under the collarbone becomes compressed to the point of bulging. While this is considered to be the rarest form of TOS, it is very serious because it can lead to an aneurysm. Signs and symptoms of arterial TOS can include:

  • Pain in the hands and arms. Some people confuse these symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Weakness in the shoulder or arm.
  • Cold fingers, hands, or arms
  • Discoloration or paleness in the hands and fingers.
  • A weakened or undetectable pulse in the arm.

It is not necessary to have all possible symptoms to be diagnosed with TOS. In fact, the severity of this condition makes it necessary to seek medical advice even if you are only experiencing a single symptom. TOS symptoms may come and go. However, most people experience elevated symptoms when using their arms.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of TOS?

TOS can create serious, life-altering effects for people. Chronic pain, atrophy, and loss of function are some of the most common long-term effects of TOS. The increased risk for blood clots makes this a high-risk medical condition that can result in death if not treated properly.

Contact Davie & Associates for Help with a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Injury Case

If your quality of life has been affected by TOS, Davie & Associates can help you understand your rights for seeking compensation. Many people continue to live their lives without treatment even though they know that they are being affected by pain, swelling, numbness, and dysfunction because they don’t realize that they have options for seeking help. It’s important to take action now to ensure that you can utilize every avenue for compensation and legal protection available to you. We offer a compassionate, personalized approach to personal injury cases. Davie & Associates has offices in Red Deer, Edmonton and Penticton to make it easy to book a consultation. Contact us today to learn more about your rights if you suffer with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

TOS injury resulting from accident
If your quality of life has been affected by TOS, contact Davie & Associates today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
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Red Deer, AB
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