Symptoms and Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Riley Runnells knew something was wrong when her right arm was swollen to about two or three times its usual size. Although a blood clot is pretty rare for a young adult, that’s exactly what she had. It was caused by a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).

TOS occurs when the muscles and bone structure in your body doesn’t leave enough room for the nerves and veins to function freely. Most people are born with the structure issues, but sometimes repetitive motion at work, exercise or trauma can contribute to the problem.

“These structures are compressing the vein, and with the vein being compressed in that area, it essentially causes poor flow from the arm to the heart and with the stagnation of the blood, you can end up with a clotting, or thrombosis of the vein,” explained Jihad Abbas, MD, FACS, ProMedica Physicians Jobst Vascular.

Dr. Abbas and his team worked to first dissolve Riley’s blood clot and later removed Riley’s first rib to ensure that her vein would get proper blood flow.

Learn more about Riley’s story and the symptoms and treatments for those diagnosed with TOS in the video below.

Learn more about vascular care services on ProMedica’s website.