Discussions By Condition: Arm Conditions

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Posted In: Arm Conditions 10 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • August 19, 2006
  • 04:32 AM

Here's my history:

- car crash in January 05 - pain in neck, back, shoulder and primarily left arm with cold and numbness into my ring and pinky finger. MRI showed small protrusion at c5-c6; EMG/NCV = cubital tunnel syndrome.

- Symptoms got worse with PT, Chiropractic and massage; no range of motion in neck without pain, dropping things and clumsiness with my left hand; pinky and ring fingers turn ice cold for no apparent reason;

- 1yr later, after seeing 3 PT's, 2 chiros, Physiatrist, 2 Neuros, 1 ortho spine specialist, plus 3 EMG/NCV's which the latest indicated carpal and cubital tunnel, I realized my complaints were falling on deaf ears and I kept getting handed pain meds & told I had whiplash.

- Flare up in neck caused me to get another MRI: herniations at c3-c4 and c5-c6 and degeneration set in on all levels of the cervical spine, with bulges and dessication; Also L4-L5 herniation. Still no big deal to these doctors, "everybody's discs degenerate at some point and time" - I was 35 years old and I was later told I have the neck of a 60 year old. Eventually, all symoptoms proceeded to travel into my right arm and now with chest pains.

- 1 1/2 years later, Finally found an orthopedic Surgeon in the Philadelphia area who knows what TOS is and accepts the fact that it exists and I have been diagnosed with Double Crush Syndrome (TOS & Ulnar Nerve Entrapment).
Needless to say, its an uphill battle from not being recognized early on. Surgery is in my future for at least the ulnar nerve issue at the elbows.

- I drive with my hands at 5 & 7, otherwise they go numb from being out and elevated on steering wheel, pushing shopping carts hurts, talking on the phone annoys my arms, holding my 2 month old (11lbs) is a strenuous effort and arms give out, sleeping is disturbed nightly from the most uncomfortable, nagging pain and weird feeling in my arms; when I do sleep, its with about 5 strategically positioned pillows...I can go on and on...but TOS exists, it hurts and more doctors need to at least attempt to recognize the classic symptoms early on.

whats the purpose of this post??? Just letting everyone else know with similar symptoms that they aren't crazy and the pain will be back after the narcotics wear off because the injury is still there.

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