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Thoracic outlet syndrome is a painful condition caused by stretching of the nerves to the arm and shoulder by the muscles and ribs that border the hole in the top of the chest called the "thoracic outlet." Certain patients can have this pain alleviated or cured by surgery to release this stretching effect. Many patients with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) are misdiagnosed, sometimes for years. Frequently, an extra or abnormal rib in the neck is the cause. A car accident may have altered the normal anatomy, and with the passage of time, pain in the shoulder and arm has progressed to an unbearable degree. Many patients have been prescribed powerful narcotic medications that may not be necessary. In longstanding cases that have not been properly identified, some patients have lost partial or complete use of the affected hand. Dr. Sommers has experience in the identification and treatment of patients with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Surgery is not for every patient with TOS, but in selected patients, it may be life changing.

In the News

Review of Thoracic Surgical Oncology