Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
School of Medicine
I Want to...
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The thoracic outlet is a bony ring formed by the topmost ribs, just below the collarbone. Threading through the thoracic outlet, from inside the ribcage, is a bundle of nerves, veins and arteries that serve the shoulder and arm. Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when those nerves or blood vessels become compressed, leading to pain, numbness and circulation issues.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: What You Need to Know
- Thoracic outlet syndrome may affect nerves, blood vessels or both. It can be caused by repetitive motion, weight lifting or injury, or by internal factors such as a tumor or weight gain.
- If blood vessels are affected, thoracic outlet syndrome usually requires surgery.
- The condition is rare and very difficult to diagnose. If you suspect you have thoracic outlet syndrome, you should be evaluated by an expert.
Transaxillary First Rib Resection for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Learn more about the tranaxillary first rib resection surgical approach to treat TOS from the Johns Hopkins Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Clinic. Watch to find out what happens during and after this decompression surgery, which is a low risk and effective surgical treatment for patients diagnosed with neurogenic or venous TOS.
Nerve Block Treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Nerve Block is a non-surgical alternative for patients suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). This animation illustrates how physicians at the Johns Hopkins Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Clinic perform interscalene brachial plexus blocks using botulinum toxin type A injections to provide temporary pain relief for patients.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome?
Vascular surgeon Ying Wei Lum discusses causes, diagnosis and treatment.
Our Specialty Centers
At the Johns Hopkins Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Clinic, our physicians understand the different types of TOS and are expert in all forms of treatment.