JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

First rib resection in thoracic outlet syndrome

Siamak Barkhordarian
Journal of Hand Surgery 2007, 32 (4): 565-70
17398369
Most patients with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) present with exercise-induced upper extremity paresthesia. Neurogenic TOS is the most common type where the brachial nerve plexus is compressed against a tight thoracic outlet. Vascular compromise although rare can result from thoracic outlet pressure against the subclavian artery or more commonly the subclavian vein. This article reviews the pathophysiology of TOS and describes several effective surgical interventions. Complete first rib resection with surgical decompression is an essential part of the treatment for TOS. First rib resection via supraclavicular or a preferred transaxillary route should be considered when conservative modalities provide no symptom improvement.

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