Thoracic outlet syndrome and the surgery associated with this diagnosis have a controversial reputation. The majority of patients with thoracic outlet syndrome seen in the context of the work place will have a multiplicity of components to their symptomatology, including multilevel nerve compression and muscle imbalance of the neck, shoulder, and back. Identification and conservative management of these problems make the necessity for surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome a rare event. Decompression of the brachial plexus, with or without first rib resection, is a technically demanding surgical procedure requiring expertise in peripheral nerve, vascular and thoracic surgery. Evaluation of these patients requires an understanding of neuromuscular physiology and chronic pain syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996


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