The thoracic outlet is the medical name for the very narrow space between the collarbone and the first rib. Nerves and blood vessels pass through this narrow space and thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition that develops when those nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet are compressed. That compression can cause a variety of symptoms; typically pain in different parts of the shoulder, neck, and arm, and numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and fingers. If not treated, it can have a significant effect upon the sufferers ability to undertake their daily activities.
A very common cause of thoracic outlet syndrome is trauma such as an accident. Treatment will always commence with physiotherapy and medication, but surgery may be required if more conservative treatment fails to resolve the problem.
Worryingly, thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition that is commonly misdiagnosed or even missed altogether by doctors when examining a patient. That is very worrying if the doctor is preparing a medical report for the purpose of a compensation claim. For that reason, when a good personal injury solicitor is taking their initial detailed medical history, it is important that the client describe in detail all of their symptoms. When instructing the doctor, the solicitor will then be able to specifically flag up those symptoms to the doctor and ask whether thoracic outlet syndrome is a possible diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, the solicitor should then be in a position to arrange funding for, and then co-ordinate, their client’s treatment for the condition. Given the often uncertain prognosis, it is vital that the condition is treated before the claim is settled.