People who suffer from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome experience pain and numbness or tingling in their extremities. The condition is due to the compression of the nerves or blood vessels just below the neck.
The thoracic outlet is the space between your collarbone and your first rib. This narrow passageway is crowded with blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. If the shoulder muscles in your chest are not strong enough to hold the collarbone in place, it can slip down and forward, putting pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that lie under it. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can result from injury, disease, or a congenital problem, such as an abnormal first rib or an extra rib.
Your doctor will first perform rib resection to prevent the bones in the upper chest from impinging on the nerves to the arm. The technique involves removing the first rib and releasing a muscle that joins the neck and chest.